Learning Contract

March 22, 2010 — 2 Comments

1) The Community: The community that I intend to focus on is a charity organisation called “Food Not Bombs”. They cater to the homeless and any other person in need of food and social contact. In their eyes their bond with those they help defines them as a community.

2) Why is this a community? The staff that organise Food Not Bombs can be defined as a community as they are brought together through volunteering for a common cause and share a common ideology. Their time is spent working and socialising.

In terms of the people they service: they are in similar financial situations and in need of the same support services and are brought together through a shared position as a financial minority in the larger society. Whilst this idea of community may be ‘forced’ upon this particular demographic (they’re lumped together by service organizations) it will be interesting in the interviews to explore the realities of whether the individuals relate to each other in this way. In a sense the doco is an investigation into the individuals sense of whether they’re part of a community or not.

3) Theory and Relevant Ideas: So far it seems that the chapter on “The Birth of Community” by Miller and Rose is the most relevant as it deals with the idea of imagined communities, diasporic communities and relationships and virtual communities. These ideas are in contrast and conflict with Tonnies idea of Gesellschaft.

4) Agreement or Disagreement with these ideas? The chapter by Miller and Rose suggests a shift from society being morally and ethically governed by what could be described as the social ordering of society, to an ordering of society via virtual, imagined and diasporic communities. The effect and result of this is a re-ordering of the individuals position in terms of personal allegiances and active responsibilities. By ‘social’ they are referring to an idea that the entire population is mapped across a territory as a single organic entity with a diverse network of relationships and communications. Community differs in that it is in opposition to the direct result of this idea of social; the ordering of society by a remote bureaucracy.
“Community exists and is to be achieved, yet the achievment is nothing more than the birth-to-presence of a form of being which pre-exists.” (p92)
This suggests a form of being may not yet be recognised as a community until there is a necessary catalyst to acknowledge the administration and reality of the group. I will be exploring individuals take on this ‘dictatorial’ idea of community and whether they recognise themselves as community in spite of a bureaucratic birth-to-presence. Alternatively, whether the bureaucracy/system of care is seen as a community tie. i.e How is the community imagined?

5) How can I use these ideas in my documentary? My documentary will be an observation of the relationship between volunteer/service provider and receiver. It will reflect various individuals’ perspectives on their community ties to those around them, there-by illustrating whether it is by process of bureaucracy or other circumstances that bring them together.

6) Structure? The structure will be partly observatory and partly interactive. I will be using a combination of video, photography and sound to observe the entire process of collecting, cooking and distributing the food. I will also conduct interviews and explore the more theoretical notions of community and these will act as commentary and exposition. The interviews will be somewhat interactive as I will be present and participating. The actual beginning, middle, end structure will to a large extent be determined in post-production, however I think it will work if I separate out each stage of the process into singular entities (the collection of food, the cooking, the distribution).

7) Style? The style is largely a blend of the Observatory and Interactive modes described by Nichols. I would like to steer the production into the performative mode but this will depend heavily on the quality of the imagery I am able to gather. I would like to create a piece where there is no preaching and expository/voice of god-esque/singular piece-to-camera is at a minimum. I would like the observatory footage to say as much as the commentary. If I am able to find exceptional talent amongst the staff and the homeless the production could take this direction.

8) What type of media; There will be an equal blend of video, audio and photography. There will be audio files (interviews), sound effects files, photography (cannon 400D SLR), and video (PD 170).

9) Technical details of format for on-line: As far as the Pool goes formatting is pretty simple. The finished video will be de-interlaced and exported from final cut pro as a Quicktime movie. I will publish the finished video to a blog and link to it from The Pool.

10) My skills in this style of media? I have produced radio documentaries for broadcast using the solid state and zoom mic recorder kits. These documentaries have included extensive interviews with members of the public regarding highly personal and controversial issues. I have skills in Protools and Final Cut Pro to develop the sound and visual design. I have video production skills rooted in short film production and experience as a videographer for the Falls Music Festival media crew 2009.

11) Any crew? Derek Anderson (assistant for sound, extra coverage for photography)

12) What do I need to borrow from techs? PD 170, Zoom mic recorder kit, solid state recorder kit.

13) Release forms: Interviewees. Will have release forms ready for signature at the interview. Interviewees are not confirmed until approval of this contract.

14) Interviewing any minors? No

15) Permission to shoot on location? Not needed. Will record interviews with audio with the permission of interviewee and all other photography will be of a more abstract nature. Will be shooting city-scapes and things of that nature rather than the characters.

16) Software: Protools (Build 6 studios), Final Cut Pro (build 9 Labsome)

17) Was educated in Protools and Final Cut during undergraduate degree and during my work with Falls TV and Portable TV.

18) Sufficient Access: Yes.

19) Social Software environment? Primarily at this stage to ABC’s The Pool. During interviews I will find out what sort of sites people in and around this community might visit and may find suitable alternatives.

20) Is the media appropriate? Yes. I think the style and content of this project is perfect for the pool. The Pool looks for stories of ordinary people, stories that seldom get told or any exposure and stories from marginalised peoples/places. In the past my documentary on transgenderism was chosen for broadcast on Radio National show All In The Mind.

21) I am already a member of The Pool.

22) I have not done a test publication in this case, but have published to The Pool in the past.

23) Does the environment stipulate any limits? The Pool does not stipulate any limits outside of its mission statement to be a collaborative and participatory space.

24) Copyright? Copyright will be fine as all audio will be either the interviews or from a creative commons source. All photography will be original.

25) There will be no deformation or slander.

26) There are no other legal issues that I can foresee.

27) What could go wrong? It may be hard to get interviewees to open up and tell their stories. The photography (and potentially video) will take some time and so I will need to work to a tight schedule.
28) Preliminary interviews have taken place and production is confirmed.

29) rough cut? Week 11; 14/5/10
30) Due Date? Week 12; 21/5/10
31) Production start date? 25/3/10
32) Post Production? 10/5/10
33) Will book equipment when interviews are scheduled, after approval of this contract.
34) The due date is fixed. The production and post production will happen almost simultaneously and under pressure. I am prepared for this with appropriate software at home. During pre-production I have explored numerous avenues for other interviews and subjects and this has helped form a base from which I will be able to launch an efficient production schedule and outcome.

35) The talents availability has been confirmed and production starts straight away.

36) I will administer and log all the credit information as I go.

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2 responses to Learning Contract

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  1. A thought for Transient Spaces « A Blog by James Thompson - March 31, 2010

    […] of community I am seeking out for my documentary. I imagine the most blatent and obvious ties in my proposed community to be geographical, i.e the rooming house. This geography could be overlooked and attention could […]

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