Thursday, October 05, 2006

Docs In Progress provides effective forum

In my quest to learn the basics of documentary production (beyond how NOT to break equipment on a monthly basis...), I sought what looked to be the perfect event tonight in DC.

And it was. GWU's Documentary Center sponsors the Docs In Progress bi-monthly film critique. During the (3) hour event, the hosts -- founders of the program Adele Schmidt & Erica Ginsberg -- screen a few documentaries currently being produced but not in finished form. Then the projects' filmmakers are introduced to the audience & proceed to discuss the works with everyone.

--very useful & interactive. I admire the filmmakers who put their work on the chopping block & welcome live feedback.

MAIN POINTS ADDRESSED (familiar but written lists are a fine thing!):

PIVOT the documentary around a compelling story & complex characters

KNOW your audience

DON'T shy away from narrating a work; it could add needed clarity & cohesion

...AND THE GOLD-MEDAL BIT: Films are made by do-it-yourself initiative & 'verve' more so than extensive, formalized education. Documentary fan & event attendee, Amardy, underscored this & I agree with her. The fact she has a grad degree in the field made her statement that much more meaningful.

However, GWU offers an attractive, & apparently rare, program for non-fiction filmmaking -- one that I'd like to eventually, seriously look at.

ConvergeSouth, Tech Philosophy, Evil Genius

The ConvergeSouth conference is next week & it's getting pretty exciting around our house. For my IT-geek Sean, he gets the house to himself. For me, I get to meet & gab with some cool, kind peeps. And if any spouses/partners of IT professionals/hobbyists happen to be there, maybe they'll get a kick out of interviewing for the project!

ConvergeSouth staff has done a great job in communicating who will attend + info on respective blogs. I'm reading-up on attendees and learned Dave Slusher at Evil Genius just changed his blog signature to "Post-modern. Pre-singularity." I'm not so plugged-in to know the meaning behind this so I asked my spouse.

...who filled me in. I'm still absorbing this but hope to pick brains more at the conference. Maybe that's a stretch since folks are so busy at these things. Maybe at least some light gabbing over beer is a more reasonable goal.

& I just can't wait.

Amy Berg's documentary "Deliver Us From Evil"

It's not related to this project. It's not geeky or techi or related to IT in general.

It is however worth our time.

--more at The Documentary Blog.

Interviewing & the gender factor

A friend brought up an interesting point. So far, the interview subjects e.g. computer geek spouses have been female with all computer 'geeks' being male. My friend Elisabeth suggested analyzing potential differences on how male & female computer techs (...geeks) spend their non-professional time. She wonders if the female 'geeks' invest as much recreational tech time as the males. Do female geeks marginalize their computer-tech interests to do other stuff like handling domestic chores, children, etc?

Interesting. So far, the male geeks observed by their mates spend "multiple hours" of home time online or tinking w/ computers. None of the couples so far have children living at home but most aren't parents.

I wonder how clearer data can be garnered through my interviewing without the question being a leading one. Maybe rely on the good 'ole "if any" qualification e.g 'how much time - if any - do you spend outside of work on computers, programming, etc?'

I haven't interviewed spouses/partners of female computer techs yet but hope to through DC Web Women in the next month.

--Still irked w/ myself for the whole camera shot issue for the most recent interviews. But alas, to live is to learn & that damn well applies to camera work too.