In order to be allowed to use their footage we needed consent, we made all the participants sign a release form. This provides legal stability protecting us and the participants from being abused.
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.
This is an essential task that needs to be completed in any work wether its abroad or home or if you work in an office or Mcdonalds as this can prevent many accidents from happening. Also incase any equipment goes missing we know exactly what we took out, It is just good practise for the real world when we are actual professionals.
The plan is to go to Portugal, film in the capital Lisbon, we know that is its a colourful cultural full of life city, crowded with artists and I definitely want to explore that. My Cousin is half Portuguese and visits regularly so I asked him if he or his family knew people and they recommended we go to algarve to visit the oldest restaurant in the city and get to know the owner.
We also talked to other friends who informed us on the culture so that when we arrive we would be able to adjust easily with and film within the law.
Our accommodation is with Air b&b and because we are aware that they must deal with tourists on a regular basis we contacted the landlord, even asked for tips on how to get around and what we need to know for when we arrive. As the documentary needs to depict real life we wanted to know the not so touristic places so we wouldn’t spend so much time figuring it out when we got there.
Obviously we couldn’t only rely on friends information, that is why we looked online for everyday people based in Lisbon who are artistic. On Instagram we found a street artist who seemed interesting plus unique. He as almost two thousand followers and he represented himself as quite a character so we knew we wanted to meet him. However, I know we have to be aware that there is a risk that he will not want to be part of the project and we would need a plan B.
Both street art and Street football is popular is Portugal so it would be amazing if we figured out a way we could link the two because the pair have a lot in common like the rural destination, the passion that goes into it, also more times than not these people come from similar backgrounds, usually working class, this is their way of expressing theirselves.
Looking on the Huffington post there was an article on street art in Lisbon, its so fascinating because it literally transforms the building. There is a political rebellious agenda behind it, not just a painting .
Watching similar documentaries like the Belgium ‘The City Game’ influenced as i felt the people being so genuine about the sport that they loved it really highlighted how strong a community can be. I hope our film can affect people in the same way spreading positivity.
Artists such as Banksy influenced me because of his work around London, I’ve grown up seeing certain pieces of his in tottenham where I grew up and its really cool how you don’t know anything about an artist but you know so much about how they think and feel through their art and thats the same with street artists.
Shepard Fairey the founder of a big clothing Obey is also one of my inspirations, he is also a street artist. People argue he is mainstream and his values have changed so then his art is not the same. Thats whats amazing depending on your situation influences what you make and how the public perceive you. He was very much the stereotypical street artist who loved skateboarding, just a rebel in general but I am sure he is more than that that is why its going to be interesting finding more on the people of portugal.
What I have done is looked at other interviews with other artists and seen what questions would be good to incorporate in out video. Basquiat a very talented artist who died at the peak of his career due to drugs abuse. His work looked quite child like but very relatable, what I love was he did not try and fit in. After watching the video I realised that you need to research into the artists work and the questions will come from there as every artist is unique so everyone will have different questions.
We intend to distribute it by sending it to film festivals, I’ve been looking at Cannes and Sun dance and if you want to submit it as a short film/ documentary then the recommended length is under 15 minutes as it needs to fit in with their schedule.
Social media will be a heavy influence on the success of the film and that is the cheapest and most convenient way of distributing our film ensuring all family and friends see it. However, many festivals will not accept the film if its available to the public so this is a decision we are going to have to make.
Short films like Hagreseb done well line many festivals internationally and I would like to follow the same success. The reason for this is because of a trailer, the audience need
some sort of idea leading them to decide wether the film is for them or not. Advertising and marketing make or break a film.
By Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington. (2014). Exploring Lisbon As A Street Art Tourist. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaime-rojo-steven-harrington/lisbon-street-art_b_5611789.html. . (1), The Huffington Post.
Black Portuguese people
After speaking to a few students at the Coventry university a lot of people were not aware of the existence of Black people in Portugal ( Afro-Portuguese). This is surprised me considering the amount of successful athletes, for example, Nani a player of the Uk premier league team Manchester united.
So now I am curious to see how Afro-Portuguese citizens live their everyday life if they are well integrated with society, if they receive any type of racism also if they feel Portuguese or feel African like their ancestors?
Many questions run through my mind and it would be interesting to explore this in more detail.
It is widely known that Portugal is home to some of the best footballers and world class teams. Ronaldo has millions of followers worldwide but he was once a poor boy playing on the streets like hundreds of other children in his country.
I was talking to a Portuguese friend and he told me that literally every street corner there will be a froup of kids playing football. The innocence of it all and these poor kids striving to achieve a dream is beautiful.
We were thinking of following a main subject a child maybe around 13- 15 years old but in doing that highlighting the street football culture.
People of Portugal (Poetic Approach)
Capturing everyday people in their society like a market worker or a fish monger, getting them to recite their favourite poem while having shots of them in their routine environment.
360 Camera documentary
document an event/ festival
do a documentary on the architecture
Coming up with the location we wanted to visit depended on various factors like budget, interest, and reality. It’s the fact that we are working with 4 other people so coming up with a suitable project.
Our Group includes Reginald, Maria, Husain Chloe and me Misal. After brainstorming as short-list was developed consisting of the following countries:
Morroco, Portugal, Japan, Philipeans, Paris
But how possible considering our lack of money due to the fact that we are full-time students was this. Japan would be amazing but the costs would not be worth it.
On the other hand going to Paris would be cheap but it isn’t adventurous enough, It is literally down the road. The reason I chose this course was because it forces me to explore my options within the world of Media, I am able to be ambitious and create a piece different to my competitors in the UK, hopefully enhancing my employability rate.
Also Leaving Europe would be hastle, especially for our first time working abroad. Having to get a visa and travel for long periods during term time when we have other lectures wouls hinder our growth in the course. a place for example like Morroco although we felt is rich in culture and a beautiful place to do a documentary
A place for example like Morroco although we felt is rich in culture and a beautiful place to do a documentary but some of our group members may have some Visa issues. However in saying that locations in Portugal look very similar to Morroco because of its colonial history and as an aspiring cinematographer visually it is very stimulating which excites me.
As for now Portugal is looking the most likely but more research and planning is required. If the subject is not good enough we may have to switch our idea.