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Author Topic: This Is What A Documentary Looks Like
audra trower williams
Babbler # 2

posted 09 May 2001 11:49 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the wake of new technologies and a thirst for audience involvement, the nature of documentary filmmaking is changing fast. A discussion at last week's Hot Docs in Toronto examined who is doing what, and how exciting it is.

Read the full article.

From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Darren Stewart
Babbler # 743

posted 14 June 2001 03:41 PM      Profile for Darren Stewart     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What caught my eye was the title "This is what a documentary looks like". Did you happen to be in Quebec for the FTAA? I ask because the street chants of "this is what democracy looks like" filled the air quite often. After gassings a scarastic "so this is what democracy smells like" was also heard quite often.
With the influx of digital media and the portability of such things as cell phones, audio recorders, lap tops and hand held video cameras, the genre of documentary film making and citizen jounalism has definatley exploded. In Quebec City over the FTAA week-end there seemed to be journalists everywhere. I was interveiwed no less than 4 times and all around us were still image and video cameras. It was good in some respect to have accurate documentation of the event both for posterirty, the recording of brutal police tactics and personal accounts. However, an issue that struck me on a few occassions was the number of people that were there to record the event as a story but not take part in it. I personally was there for the environmental implications of the FTAA as well as its impacts on local jobs, the selling of essential services and the race to the bottom in regards to third world manufacturing. There were also tens of thousands of others in Quebec for their own reasons. But there were so many only looking for a story to produce. A documentary if you will of them and their "activism" in the face of evil, wandering the perimeter looking for good action shots and an opportune time to join the fray long enough to be captured on film by a friend holding the camera.
My main problem with this is that by looking through a lense you can lose the full impact of whats happening. You become deadened to what is actually happening around you. It seperates you. And with so many journalists around at times, observers outnumbered activists.
A medic and myself were carrying a man who had collapsed from the toxic effects of the tear gas. His reaction was life threatening and we needed to get him out of there. Finally reaching relative saftey a couple blocks away we waited for an ambulance. The man sitting on the sidewalk with an icepack to his throat suddenly became famous. People crowded around craning for a look or a good "action shot" to take home and show to their friends. Hand held recordeds were thrust in our faces as we were barraged with questions as to what happened, where are you from, any comments, etc. I found the whole situation and lack of understanding as to what was occuring quite disgusting. There were also those mugging for the cameras and yelling "hi mom!" to passing TV crews in hopes of being seen in their home town as if they were at concert instead of a protest of the utmost importance.These issues were of course worse at the perimeter due to journalists looking for the bast action.

Did anybody else notice this?

From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

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