Film Process Journal
In this project, the students formulated their own groups of 3 and were asked to create a film based on a history in New York. The requirement of this film is to explore the cultural context of that particular place. Interviews were required to explore the community’s perspective.
Our group took the approach of first researching into the history of Washington Square Park, as the only information that we had regarding the park was that it is a common tourist destination and that a lot of New Yorkers likes going there recreationally. We then found out a lot of shocking information and facts that we did not know about the park and wondered whether how many people were actually as clueless as we are. Therefore, with all of the knowledge that we gained through researching, we started formulating the interview questions and thinking of what kinds of people we want to interview to diversify the opinions received.
Here are the interview questions that we came up with:
- Do you come to Washington Square Park often? If so, why?
- What do you like/hate about WSP?
- Do you know about the history of WSP?
- Do you know there were dead bodies buried underneath here a hundred years ago?
Brainstorm and analyze ideas:
As we did not know about the historic events like the burial of dead bodies under the park, our group decided to use the video and inform the audience on how important historical events like this has passed without anyone noticing or remembering. With this thought in mind, we started putting together a storyboard and deciding what kind of cuts and shots we want to take at Washington Square Park.
Figure 1: a rough planning of what we want our film to progress.
My group members and I also agreed that we wanted to include historic films to make the video more realistic, and also to allow the audience to grasp a better understanding of the video’s true meaning.
Develop Solutions/ Build a test model:
Figure 2: Idea board
While building a test model, we decided to put together an idea board so that there wouldn’t be any confusion within my group members. We started going on Youtube and taking external films to represent the historic part of the park. As it was really hard for everyone in my team to meet up, we decided to assign a particular assignment for each of the members, for example, Yoo Hwan was in charge of doing the interviews, and Jenny and I had a similar role, which was editing and finding old historic films about the park. At one point, it was quite challenging for us to find a lot of historic films, as the resources online were limited. However, we found out that we could include photographs and video effects to make the photograph more engaging. We wanted to include editing techniques like voice-over to minimize the background noise that was in almost all of our videos.
Figure 3: Our voice-over script
Present your ideas to others for feedback:
Most of the feedback that we’ve gotten are positive; for example, the students liked our use of voice-over, as it really made it easier for them to follow through and realize what we’re trying to portray. They also really liked the idea of subtitles, which again really helped with the depth of understanding of the film. However, some of the students pointed out that if the dramatic tempo and sound of the music suited the opening it would make the entire video better. Not only that, there were a lot of grammatical errors involved, and that made the video slightly unprofessional. My teacher has also pointed out that some of the frames in specific scenes should be reduced, as that would make the video more entertaining. The interviews that we included were also filmed in a very weird angle; however, this could be corrected by just focusing on a feature of that person’s face, for example, his eyes.
After doing this film, I have learned so much about the historic events in Washington Square Park that I would not have previously learned. This experience could be said as fruitful and I would definitely do a similar project like this again, as I feel like historic events like these are types of memories that one should not forget. I was also given the chance to know more about the different angles that one could film to make the video more interesting.