I have been in the freelance video journalism world for about five years now. Prior to entering the VJ (video journalism) world, I co directed El Inmigrante, a documentary about the US/Mexican border crisis, I did some short narrative films, and finally I used to work on film sets doing various jobs. But I eventually, during those years I became a second assistant in the camera department. I really enjoyed being a 2AC. I loved when I clapped the slate I settled in and then watched the talent and the director do their work.
However, I got into film to make stories, not just be a crew worker. So after being inspired by working on a NYU masters film project in Creede, Colorado I decided that it was time to make my own content. After a few short films El Inmigrante got launched and we were full on in making a feature documentary. For a very limited budget we did pretty good with the film. I am very proud of what we did as a team in creating that documentary. By creating your own films and producing them yourselves, you may not get all the funding that you would love to have, but you get a lot of freedom to make the film you want.
I feel that it is important to teach aspiring VJ’s that once you enter the professional world of creating content for a news agency that you have to being ready to work as a team with your producers. It is nearly impossible that your first cut will be the final cut. Some times there are minor changes, but at some times there are major edits to your original cut.
Here is an example of my first cut of a recent story I did for the BBC. Since this edit is not the final, I went back and did some minor changes to the text slates that are in this version of the story. But for the most part this is my concept of how I wanted to tell the story.
After I got my edit list from the producer, here are the second wave of changes.
Finally, here is the edit that went live on the BBC.
I you have time to watch all three versions of the story, you can see the differences. In short, video and film is a highly collaborative work environment. I love the process of it all, but still to this day I love making our own content. It is in this place that I feel free.
We have launched our Kickstarter campaign today. Get involved, spread the word, watch the video and be apart of a great documentary.
Welcome 2013 and now it is time to get our documentary Lasso The Sun in postproduction. I have been watching and looking at successful Kick Starter campaigns this morning and taking notes on how we can build a winning fundraising portfolio. First off we need funding to translate and transcribe the Navajo footage that we have. To get an accurate transcription it is going to be expensive. Unlike our last documentary El Inmigrante, which is about seventy percent in Spanish. Lasso The Sun will have far less translation to be completed, but there are not too many professional Navajo translators out there. So we really are limited in who we can hire to do the job. I am excited and nervous at the same time going out and fundraising. We never want to be tacky and pushy, however with out funding important documentaries will never get finished. Just like NPR and PBS we have to hit the trail and go for it.
Below is a montage of some of the footage that we have for Lasso The Sun.
I am very much looking forward to my interview with author Kristen Iversen and discussing her book Full Body Burden. Here are some stills taken from video on my last B Roll shoot at an old Department of Energy uranium mill tailings site.
This past week, I was out on a film shoot for our documentary, Lasso The Sun. I was out filming in Tuba City, AZ and out near Monument Valley. I had the privilege to interview a WWII Navajo Code talker. After the warm he returned home and worked as a uranium mill worker. The exposure to uranium has critically effected his family. We also interviewed a few other exposed uranium workers and their families. I am going to be editing a quick video of some of the footage that I gathered. So stay posted.
Radioactive Ducks Uranium Miner and Power were shot on my Panasonic GH2 using Nick Driftwood’s Quantum Me Baby 176 setting. I love the results. Most of the shots were filmed in Shiprock NM USA at the Department of Energy UMTRA (uranium mill tailings remedial action) site. The ducks are swimming in low level radioactive water. The Four Corners power plant is a huge coal burning station that pollutes the area in excess. Edited on FCP 7 and compressed to H264 from Apple Pro Res HQ.
Panasonic 14-42mm 3.5
Nikon DX 55-200mm 5.6
Soligar 300mm 5.6
Music: Stars Of The Lid, Requiem String Melody
Locations: Shiprock NM, San Juan River, Utah, Durango, Colorado.