Pessoas de Lisboa
1. Professional Aims
We set out to better ourselves professionally, this wasn’t an everyday opportunity, I needed to make the most of it. My aim was to put it on my portfolio so that future employers are impressed. Also to gain experience and enhance the skills I already had, Internationally I aim to meet people with different skill sets assemble contacts because I will gain more viewership on my work or even lead me into getting jobs. Circulation of my film entering it to festivals in hope of gaining recognition and critical acclaim. As a professional, I wanted to create awareness of a different way of life a UK audience may not be familiar with. Carrying Myself as a professional was exciting as we were based outside the university meaning we could take advantage of roles. I was the Cinematographer mainly and heavily contributed in building the idea.
2. Professional skills and educational benefits
Working with another language and putting subtitles was extremely difficult but was an educational process. I had the basic skills of editing but after this project it forced me to self study a bit more going through many youtube tutorials on how to do certain effects, especially with after effects because I wasn’t familiar with it. I wanted to make intro titles before every subject, it was successful but as a group we decided a simple look was better, but i’m grateful as now I have the skill to re-use in another project.
Being on the ball and ready is important as documentary is a very different environment to fiction films. Also Not cutting straight away as we noticed subjects say the most deep comments as soon as you stop rolling. This was annoying as it could of enhanced the film and on the editors point of view it can be annoying when the camera operator cuts early because it gives us less to play with. So always shoot more than you need.
Scheduling your time is important, it doesn’t matter that we are in a warm country, it was not a holiday so waking up early was a must in order to get everything done within the 5 days. It was worth it because filming allowed us to be adventurous rather than being on a beach all day not being productive.
On the first day we arrived a lens broke, we don’t know the causes but it was inside the luggage on the plane. This caused us to be extra cautious because we couldn’t afford another piece of equipment damaged. That obviously brought down our mood but keeping positive was key and motivating each other with great team work to get the best possible outcome.
We also forgot a camera battery meaning we had to think quickly, so instead we just recorded sound and got the visuals the next day.
3. Fieldwork Practises
Working abroad/ internationally is definitely a challenge, something I am not used to but a learning experience. The culture had its similarities and differences but after talking to locals and doing our own research beforehand we knew what is acceptable and what wasn’t. For example many Portuguese people find it rude if you try and communicate with them in Spanish because its disrespect you are basically insulting their identity. Luckily for us in the main city of Lisbon majority of people spoke english but we picked up a few basic Portuguese phrases to help us get around. We came across a problem, after attempting to interview some of the important elderly members in the community of Alfalma we had a huge language barrier. The older generation were less likely to know english and we found them to be more reserved due to their societies culture, this made it extremely difficult to make an authentic documentary so we ended up not using it even though it was probably the best shot. However, I didn’t leave empty handed as it gave me the skill of patients and understanding because previously I may have gotten frustrated that our preparations weren’t going to plan. Also laws on filming were important to check where and when we are aloud to film but it isn’t to different to England where we can film in public we just need consent, we can not go on private property and start filming without permission.
4. Global Experience
I’ve been effected on our trip to Lisbon, the influence on my work is evident, meeting many creatives from all over and even shocking. I was unaware of the discrimination to black people within the country and it and after a videographer/creative with dread locks told me that he struggles getting a conventional job because of his hair. It made me want to explore this issue in further detail, maybe in the future. Every single person that we had spoken to I now have on social media wether it be Facebook or Instagram making it convenient for any interactions in the future. Due to the fact we had release forms ensuring that participants had given content all their details are now on the sheet forming it to be easier to find a contact in the future if we every need them. I even had conversations with other artist about collaborating work when the come to the UK meaning we can be productive in whatever part of the world we are in if we keep on building contacts.
The idea was to portray the film with the words of the real people, we had a structure but weren’t afraid to go with the flow but to get that sense of realism we needed the people to almost take control and speak their truth. Artists Like Banksy mix political aspects with beautiful paintings on public building being able to express their true thoughts in their own way. Thats why we were excited to talk with the street artist John Douglas. We found him on Instagram before we went but hadn’t been able to get in contact with him, but we knew where his shop was set up. He creates art that connects with his ancestry history on red indians, every drawing is different. Freedom is what he feels when he paints and this was inspiring to us but we thought it may inspires too.
Overall we delivered our aims for the project, visually it is beautiful, we met various characters and made friends but also collaboration partners. I just wished I had managed my time better when it came to this and other modules because it definitely could of been edited better, we also were trying to stick to the brief with the 6 minute time limit meaning we had to cut of a lot of other interesting people we had met however, a longer version was made that will be submitted to film festivals. This experience is inevitably an experience I’d want to go through again, a different country but transferring all the skill and knowledge gained constructing a project I’m even more proud of.