Friday, June 27, 2014

Editing at MassArt

Today's the last day of my one-week intensive Editing the Documentary course at MassArt's Summer Film School.  It's been a great week, though always a challenge to balance the technical and the theoretical, the different experience levels, and the four different editing platforms students are using!

After several days spent talking about building scenes, working with interviews, and sound design, today we'll get to back up to the big picture and talk about documentary film structure.  Hopefully they've read some of the great excerpts I gave them from Robert McKee's Story and Michael Rabinger's Directing the Documentary.  I love watching a full feature film and then breaking it down scene by scene, line by line, to see what the narrative skeleton is.

But I'm also looking forward to grabbing a beer with everyone after class ends.  One of the great things about the Summer Film School is the people we meet... many of them setting off on first, second, or third careers as documentary filmmakers.  Thanks for a meaningful week!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Noam Chomsky Award

I'm on a shoot in the Baltimore area now - travelled up here with my film subject Janet Connors, who is winning the Noam Chomsky Peace & Justice Award from the Justice Studies Association.  Congratulations, Janet!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BU Student Film Screening

This year I had fifteen students in my Production I class at BU.  It's tons of work for the students - learning all about using DSLR cameras, recording sound, editing on the Avid, and of course the art of storytelling.  So it's immensely satisfying to have a public showing of their work at the end of the semester.

Last Friday my students all showed their films, and I was very impressed with what they came up with in such a short time. Then on Tuesday we had a course-wide Production I screening, with three films from each of the six sections presenting.  Tonight at 7pm the graduate students in Production 2 will be showing their films in COM 101, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston - come along if you are interested!

Above is a film by my student Michelle Orozco.  I really liked how she handled the flashback scenes: something that can be hard to pull off well and is sometimes overused.  But it worked beautifully here!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fun in Fourth Grade

What fun I had on Monday visiting my daughter Maya's fourth grade class at Montclair Elementary School in Quincy.  I talked to them about life as an independent documentary filmmaker - and how I came to this career partly through other people sharing their passion for it when I was young.  It was neat to see how they responded to clips of my films (especially Monkey Dance), and how hands shot up with questions throughout.

And of course everyone enjoyed playing with my camera equipment...

Thank you to the students and Ms. Joyce for letting me visit!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Indelible Lalita at Notre Dame

My film Indelible Lalita will be screening at the DeBartolo Peformance Center at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, April 11 at 6:30pm as part of a monthly screening series sponsored by the Harper Cancer Research Institute.  I will be there for a Q&A.

I'm excited to show the film in this context, as I have been approached by many audience members who have faced cancer themselves or with family members and were moved by the film.

We had a fun screening last week (photo below, by Marie Hartness) at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Harvard University: another type of audience for this personal story.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Art and Design of Sustainability

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is in the running for the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award. As part of the competition, the schools submit a video, which we produced over here at JMP. It was a great experience working with the various students, staff, and faculty at MassArt to create this video: it's clear that sustainability is truly in the DNA of MassArt. The entire MassArt community strives to make the world a more sustainable place through art and design. They have, among many other things, installed over 1500 LED lightbulbs, made sure their new facilities are LEED silver or gold certified, and created many classes and student organizations about sustainability. Good luck, MassArt! We're rooting for you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

America Reframed rebroadcast

On Tuesday, March 11, World Channel will be re-broadcasting My Louisiana Love, a powerful story about a young woman who returns to southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family, only to find their traditional way of life threatened by environmental disaster.

I had the pleasure of editing and co-producing this film with Sharon Linezo Hong and Monique Verdin.