Contribution & Collaboration:
I put my hand up to join the documentary seminar group because I was enthusiastic about meeting industry professionals and learning about their life experiences. From the very beginning of the preparation phase, I tried to contribute to the group discussions by suggesting that we invite someone from an established documentary company that produces contents for television stations in Australia in order to compare him/her to other panelists who maybe independent filmmakers. I suggested we try someone from 360 Degree Films, and Lincoln and Caitlyn actually managed to get hold of Helen Gaynor in the end.
Our group decided to divide up the work into little subsections, and so I worked in the promotional trailer and the introduction cuts for each panelist with Melissa. I collected relevant footages from different platforms and went through them to pick out the parts that best represented their style of filmmaking and storytelling. It took awhile to finalize the videos because we added little animated movements with the graphics that Dom provided us. On the day of the shoot, I helped arrange the set up, bringing tables up and down and checking the equipments with the help of other students from the Filmenstein group. I also operated the second camera that was placed on the right side of the theatre during the seminar. In terms of on-the-day promotion, I used social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to invite other students from RMIT photography courses and TAFE film students who might be interested in non-fiction filmmaking.
While trying to put all the videos together, I wanted to do an extensive research on each of the guests. I watched many of their films and looked into some of their previous interviews to see what their personalities were like. This alone gave me a lot of insight on the way different kinds of documentaries were made – how hard it is to find an interesting subject matter and how fun it could at times. Whenever I attended other seminars, I took notes on the guests and try to follow up on those that were interesting as well. For example, I found what Damon Hughes (from Triple J’s Unearthed) had to say really helpful, especially because it could be related back to one of my industry reports from last semester about new radio trends, so I did some more research into that area. It was similar when Rick Chen came in to lecture in week 11. I started following him on twitter and tried to get a better understanding of his business Pozible. I was genuinely intrigued by his story and the company’s philosophy. I have recently seen some of my friends using crowd-funding platforms to start their film/dance projects, so it felt like it was a perfect time for me to be exposed to that sort of information.
I feel like have put a lot of effort in to the preparation of the seminar and did what was required of me. However, I could have definitely improved by suggesting more ideas and throwing in my opinions during class time and not just settle to what was given to me. My primary job was to make a quality introduction video, which took quite a lot of time but I think we managed to create something that was well-made. It involved communicating with other group members in both the online and offline space and also with the stirring committee in terms of getting necessary graphics and linking them to the final product.
Connections & intersections:
The seminar sessions turned out to be extremely helpful for me in forecasting my future careers. Through organizing and setting up our Digging Up the Truth event, I got a glimpse of the Australian documentary scene and I got a lot of inspiration and new ideas just by listening to them in person. I was also able to network with Genevieve Bailey, director of I Am Eleven, who was present at the seminar and I am now working in her documentary company in Richmond as an intern. Going to other group’s seminars was useful too, as it ensured me that our future careers could intersect and there was always a possibility that I could change my path into some of the other media areas. This course gave me a lot of courage and determination to go out there and do great things in the industry along with everyone else who is graduating this year. It was a great way to end our 3 years of university study by acting as a segue to the outside world.
For these reasons, I gave myself an overall mark of D (75%).