I was in a group with Josh, Mohammed, Ralitsa, Maria and Mike and we worked on Project ‘Ali’. This was basically about how ‘Ali’ grew up during the civil war in Somalia and the stuggles him and his family went through but still having the courage to get up and carry on and achieve his dream.
I feel like overall this project was a success, we made a decent documentary but it wasn’t a walk in the park, we had some speed bumps along the way. Firstly our plan wasn’t ever to make a documentary about Ali, we were supposed to do one about a Somali general. We had it all figured out, this beautifully wrinkled man in his Military cargo uniform with all his badges, I can just imagine how visually pleasing it would have been. However, after the General had some time to think about it he withdrew because he felt like it would put him in danger. Instead he offered us to do a documentary on his past life of being a Goal Keeper but as a group we decided it wasn’t what we wanted.
Ali is young but he has billions of stories and its a shame we had a time limit of 3 minutes but this was a learning curve for us, we needed to decide what sound a footage would be most beneficial to us in the way in which we wanted to portray him. This lead to another problem which was the language barrier, only Mohammed knows how to speak Somali, but we all wanted a say in the story so Mohammed translated all the sound, wrote it down and we decided what to put in. Then he edited a little sound bite together and gave it to me to sync the visuals, which was confusing but we did it in the end.
We obviously had an Idea on how we wanted the edit to look like, we planned it out in the pre-production. Maria came up with the Idea that we start with the sunrise and end with the sunset to symbolize a new day and also to contrast with the negative dialogue with the beautiful visuals. I then further developed the it by suggesting we have stock footage of the Somali troops or Al-Shabaab with the opacity low behind the sunset with gun shots to set an artistic mood and also so that it just isn’t shots of Ali all the time. The plan was because Mohammed used to work for Somali Tv that we asked if we could have some footage and we tried to contact them a numerous amount of times but there was no answer so we just used youtube instead. It was sad because one of the stories Ali told about his friend getting executed which Somali Tv had accesses to.
We had some Photos we wanted to include and some of Mohammed and Ali’s own footage from Somalia, but sadly Ali’s phone was in repair and Mohammed cracked his phone shortly after so we also had no accesses to that footage either.