DOCUMENTARY QUESTIONS: 1. What was your documentary about?
My documentary was about my family’s Christmas Break vacation to the republic of Costa Rica. Throughout the trip, I documented excursions and resort life from a predominantly “point of view” perspective with other angles blended in to create a well-rounded representation of what we were seeing down south. The documentary documented our activities in Costa Rica, including swimming above and under water, both in the pool and in the ocean, travelling to and from excursions, wandering around the hotel aimlessly, and all activities we did while we were there (including zip lining!).
2. What was the planning process of the film? (I.e. first stages, coming up with the topic, finding people to interview etc.)
The planning process of the film began with the conception of the idea. I came up with the idea when the trip was finalized at the end of November 2013. I couldn’t create a storyboard prior to the filming due to the fact that I have not been to Costa Rica before, and therefore did not know what to expect. I started a basic storyboard in my mind to get an idea of the types of camera angles I could use in certain situations. After that, I waited until the day of departure to begin filming. The documentary opens with an image of the alarm clock going off at 6:15 in the morning, the time we needed to wake in order to leave for the airport on time. I continued filming bits and pieces of the morning up until the point where we were sitting in the terminal. Once we were in the terminal, I began filming brief interviews with the two adults on the trip (my mum and step dad) and asked them what their expectations for the vacation were. Once this was done, the process was underway, and I continued filming in Costa Rica, the destination of our vacation.
3. What were some challenges during the making of the documentary? (I.e. your partner, time management, topic etc.)
Some challenges I experienced during the filming included camera difficulties and time management. I used three cameras to film; my new phone (which has a really high quality camera), my new waterproof camera, and my old Sony camera. The old Sony camera has the worst quality of the three cameras, but it had the best life span, as it doesn’t need to be charged often. The new underwater camera had better clarity, however it’s battery only lasted a half hour. The phone had top clarity and a good battery with a backup battery, but it’s format is slightly different from the digital cameras, which would make editing slightly difficult. Because of this, filming proved somewhat difficult and there were multiple camera difficulties. The other issue was with time management. I tried to film as much as I could, but there were times where I was unable to film and capture the moment, and because the filming takes place over the span of the week, shots seem far between. There are many shots, but it doesn’t seem as consecutive as something filmed on one specific topic all at once. There was simply too much to film to make a perfectly consecutive documentary. A third issue was the audio quality; because I was using three cameras, the audio quality would vary quite a bit. Some videos would be quiet while others extraordinarily loud by comparison. I tried to change this is the editing process, but nothing could be done in order to change the sound quality. The fourth and final issue with the documentary was my laptop; it decided to delete the assignment three days before it was due as well as the program I was using to edit the film. Then, it decided to shut down randomly every time I tried to turn it back on. Whenever I tried to re-download the program, the laptop would freeze and cease to work. I finally got it fixed, but it took up time that I didn’t have to spend.
4. What was your Flash logo and how did you and your partner come up with it? (colours, images, movement etc.)
My flash logo is the background from my blog. Since my last film (the two minute video) was labeled “DigiArt Archive” after the name of the blog, I decided to keep it the same for the documentary in order to create continuity. That is why the “production company” of the documentary is titled “DigiArt Archive”. The image used for the logo was a graphic I designed last year that I use for the background of the blog. The symbol is a sun with a wheel behind it. The symbolic purpose of the sun is to show life and livelihood. The green, however, is used to give the illusion of mystery, which agrees with the black background surrounding the symbol. The wheel represents unity, which is represented when the symbol is used both as the logo for the documentary and the background of the blog; it shows how they are both from the same source.
5. What do you think of the final product?
I think the final product turned out alright, but I think that it could have been substantially better. I feel that if I had the proper equipment, I could have done a much better job with the audio/visual qualities, and if I had less of a large time frame to cover, I could’ve been more detailed in my filming.
6. What would you do differently next time?
Next time, I would try and organize my footage from the time I began filming, instead of waiting for the end to organize the footage. I think I would also try and get a better idea of what we would be doing exactly so that I could create a storyboard prior to the beginning of the filming process.
7. What do you want the audience to be thinking about after watching your documentary?
After watching the documentary, I would hope that the audience would be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. It really was a beautiful country, and I think people (if they can afford it) should definitely go visit it.