Tonight we held a preview of our OutTakes series of Webisodes with Webisode 1; An Introduction.
The event coincided with the Inner Sunset Art Crawl curated by Tanya Vlach and kindly supported by Anywhere Cinema.
Our preview screened as part of a programme of the best disposable films of the past 5 years from The Disposable Film Festival supported by S.C.R.E.A.M., the Sunset-based youth organisation from which 3 of the 4 OutTakes participants are from.
The screening itself took place at the backyard on the northeast corner of 6th Ave and Irving St, renowned locally as notable venue for many fantastic events and deserving of its nickname ‘The Yes We Can House’. The audience trickled out onto the street and we were delighted with a steady stream of viewers throughout the evening. Ray and Miles from the OutTakes Crew were on hand all evening gifted popcorn, delivered speeches and awarded raffle prizes generously donated by The Disposable Film Festival. The amount of of work invested by everyone paid off into a fantastic night thanks to the support of everyone who made it happen we feel hugely motivated in completing our post production on the further 7 webisodes and launching the series at a future screening event. For more videos from OutTakes go to the OutTakes Channel at https://vimeo.com/channels/dffouttakes
Tonight I met with 3 members of the OutTakes Crew in person at The Sunset Neighbourhood Beacon Centre and one online through Skype. We discussed the plan for set up and running order for the event. Unfortunately, two participants are unlikely to be available on the night but we promised to do our best on their behalf.
We critiqued the final edit of the videos we intend to screen on Friday evening at the Inner Sunset Art Crawl. The crew were delighted to see their vision for the piece come to life with the help of motion graphics supplied by Robby Collins at Clockworks.ie We also chose our soundtracks for the pieces; ‘Tooth and Toebone’ by Andy Mooney at Paradoxical Recordings (Ireland) and ‘We Float’ by My First Earthquake (USA) – an apt name for a San Francisco band if ever there was one. My First Earhtquake incidentally features lyrics and vocals by DFF’s own designer, Rebecca Bortman.
Jason and I recorded the final piece of VO for our introductory webisode and that was the last piece of our webisodic jigsaw. Now I can put the last pieces together for our preview. It will be great to get feedback from an audience and we are looking forward to seeing our work on the big screen. Fingers crossed that the fog will stay off!!
Today was supposed to be the last post-production workshop for OutTakes at TILT but as we were two crew members down, it became more of a mix of production and post for the attending participants. After putting the last editorial touches to our OutTakes Viral Video, Jason and Ray, stalwarts of the OutTakes Crew bagged an outstanding interview with Robyn Byfosky, TILT coordinator and facilitator of the ‘Mobile Film-making Workshop’ at DFF which will be a key subject for one of the webisodes in our series. The guys also recorded the last piece of footage we needed for our introductory webisode devised after a quick brainstorm and a bit of experimentation with the DFF 2012 T-shirt design. All will be revealed at the Inner Sunset Art Crawl!
This evening, the OutTakes Crew members and I held a conference call on Skype to review the rough edited sections for the OutTakes documentary that I uploaded to Vimeo and discuss how to develop them further. The most interesting outcome of the conversation was the decision to scrap the concept of a short documentary and instead create a collection of bite sized webisodes. This is the beauty of working with young people; just when you think you have an answer, they show you something new. So we have agreed to co-produce a web series. I am delighted because this format will be much more engaging and ‘shareable’ for young people through social media sites. It also works well in terms of how the footage was captured; in distinct blocks with varied locations. I am really looking forward to getting into this with the crew and working out the aesthetics and narratives of our pieces.
We made plans for our final post production workshop at TILT this weekend and left things until then on a very inspiring note.
After such a long wait to meet since the festival, I could sense yesterday that it was somewhat disappointing for the crew not to be able to get stuck straight into the actual editing but I hope that with some solid decisions made now, the physical editing will be much more focused. We will be editing collaboratively; exactly what that involves will be decided together step by step.
Having drawn up a outline for the main documentary content, I am now setting up the project file and rough editing sections of video as proposed on our timeline. Its an enjoyable task, especially as there is so much funny, off the cuff material that they managed to capture. I will upload these sections over the next two days to Vimeo where the OutTakes members can view them securely and leave private comments. On Wednesday, we will convene over a short Skype conference call to critique the content, refine the sequence and design the narrative around the subjects. Between Thursday and Sunday, I will implement some of these suggestions. Then on Sunday, we will meet again, this time at TILT and the OutTakes members will review the progress, feedback on the developing format and collaborate on refining the rough cut further. this way, participants will have the benefit of focusing on developing their fine-editing skills with Final Cut Pro yet being fully involved in the entire process of decision-making that will make real impact on the final outcome. This way, we hope to turn around a near-to-fine edit of the main piece in just 8 days.
Any material left out of the main documentary will be considered for stand-alone works most likely in the vein of styles of documentary described by Nichols as poetic or observational.
Today I meet with members of the OutTakes youth Documentary Crew again for the first time since The Disposable Film Festival. We had a really busy few hours reviewing footage, exploring documentary formats and making decisions about the style, content and target audience for our final production.
After analysing several examples, the crew have settled on a ‘Participatory Documentary Style’, a term that Bill Nichols used to describe the type of pieces where “The filmmaker steps out from behind the cloak of voice-over commentary, steps away from poetic meditation, steps down from a fly-on-the-wall perch, and becomes a social actor (almost) like any other.” Bill Nichols, Introduction to Documentary (2001), Indiana University Press. It is certainly an interesting decision that I think is indicative of the natural leaning towards radical, non-hierarchical methods of working that seem to come naturally to the young media producer. Perhaps its because they already come from an environment of social collaboration in terms of their online expression. I am certainly learning a lot by observing their patterns of communication and production. The participatory documentary is typically non-formal in its structure and does not attempt to hide the potential subjectivity of the film-maker(s) nor their potential to influence both subject and audience. In this way, I find it is especially interesting as a tool that highlights relationships as a device of knowledge rather than seek to objectify them.
We also took some time today to conduct a final interview with Katie Gillum for insertion as crucial narrative about outcomes and reflections over material documenting the discussion-based festival activities such as panels etc
It was unanimously decided that the central theme of the production be ‘How young people Affect Media’ in terms of consumption, production and distribution using evidence of OutTakes interaction with the activities and participants at The Disposable Film Festival as our key example.
Yesterday, I participated in an organised ‘Wander’. Tina Lee, assistant to OutTakes at The Disposable Film Festival, introduced me to the concept recently and I decided to participate for two reasons; not only did it sound like a fantastic way to get to know some of the lesser appreciated areas of the city but it might also give me some inspiration for the design of the OutTakes Scavenger Hunt for Sunset Art Crawl.
The Wanders Union provide advice, a map, a list of recommended zones with tasks to complete or treats to collect in each location, a pledge (the title of this post!) and a deadline; 12 hours to wander to 12 out of 15 zones between Sunset and Colma and along the west coast in between. We started at 12pm and the challenge was to finish and convene at Boulevard Cafe by 12.15am. In typical fashion, my companion and I ended up wandering off the Wanders Union route and finding our own way through 8 of their ‘zones’ and several of our own, arriving home tired, covered in black sand and happy at the early hour of 11pm with a take-away dinner of dim sun to enjoy as the spoils of our adventure We did use our time constructively though putting together a wee disposable document of our pilgrimmage. Well done to the organisers for a great trek. It definitely sparked some ideas for OutTakes!
Borderlands Cafe and Bookstore on Valencia St, home of the most fantastic B-Movie postcards in possibly the western world, was the hipster location of my meeting today with Tanya Vlach (Art IS) and Katie Gillum (Disposable Film Festival) to discuss programming the OutTakes Screening for the Inner Sunset Art Crawl on April 27th in collaboration with SCREAM.
DFF will be donating some shorts from the 5 year anniversary programme. We will also feature an introduction to a mini-doc on the Sunset currently in pre-production by youth at SCREAM. Finally and very importantly, OutTakes will have launch their viral video animation as part of our publicity drive for our upcoming exhibition and screening at SFPL. We are devising a cunning scavenger hunt for the Art Crawl to entice as many crawlers as possible to drop by our Street Screening from 6-10pm. There will be prizes…as if our video will not be prize enough for lucky viewers!!
An apt restuarant for an artist in residence at a film festival if ever there was one! The menu is fancy and so are the prices so this was a real treat for an evening out in San Francisco. Foreign Cinema is located on Mission St a few doors down from the iconic Mission Cinema and Cine Latino, both of which are now closed and sadly looking very delapidated. Happily though sources tell me the Mission Cinema at least is being renovated and hopes to reopen in the future. With the wealth of Latin American films on offer, this would be a welcome return to the area I am sure.
The entrance of Foreign Cinema is much like a 1950s movie theatre and from 8pm each evening a film is screened on the courtyard walls. The film soundtrack is played from sets of drive-in type speakers dotted between tables at intervals. Heatlamps and a transparent marquee roof make outdoor dining a pleasure to compliment the delicious menu. Dinner and a movie like nowhere else….ah, such sacrifice for art…..
I have just finished sifting through the OutTakes footage from the Disposable Film Festival and now begins the post-production process. In a week, I will meet with the OutTakes Crew to begin the process of collaborative editing. Our ultimate goal is to screen a short documentary for a youth audience using material from the experience accompanied by an exhibition of supplementary video. San Francisco Public Library have expressed an interest in supporting us to host such an event on their main library premises in the Civic Centre area. Stay tuned for the confirmed date!
However, before we present the main production, we would like to raise some awareness on the process in the locality from which most of the participants are based and drum up some support from local audiences. 3 out of 5 of our OutTakes Crew regularly attend the Sunset North Becaon Centre, facilitated by artist and media literacy trainer Tanya Vlach. Tanya is also involved in the curation of a new initiative in the area; the Sunset Art Crawl and has invited OutTakes to feature in the programme. I am really excited to be involved in this and will update soon!