Reflection 3: Research Production

Over the past few weeks, my continuous research has allowed me to feel much more confident in terms of producing a successful final product. The project is progressing fluently whereby now we are at a stage where we can create a suitable and interesting 3 minute documentary on our character.

Up until now my research has been mainly secondary, with the looking in depth at Mark’s website, searching polar exploration on the web and viewing some archive footage. However, since the shoot I have been looking more into the character of Mark, in comparison to his profession. This, I regard as an error on my part, as I believe I should have been looking into this in more depth earlier in the process.

I am currently focusing on researching documentary itself, looking at possible ideas from other short documentaries that I can put forward to the group as a whole and discuss what ideas we can adapt into out own final edit.

I am not worried about the footage we have taken whatsoever, as the shoot went extremely well, even putting into consideration the somewhat ‘rush’ to the top of the building to set up before it stops snowing or the light fades. My only concern is that we have too much footage and that it will be hard to trim it down to the 3 minutes we have been given.

Focusing primarily on this, I have looked at many online ‘3 minute wonders’ including some from comedian Karl Pilkinton which I found amusing yet interesting in his style and format of portraying his views.

I found this particular video on street art from Channel 4:

Looking back to previous lectures, I have researched documentary maker Werner Herzog to find and elaborate on who, how and why he films the way he does. In particular, I have researched the way he likes to use local, ordinary people to portray the “truth”, using footage of them being themselves, as well as giving a role to play. Apart from eating his own shoe, he has achieved some amazing things throughout his time as a filmmaker; one that stood out most for me is his 1999 documentary “My Best Friend”, where he shows his unusual yet productive relationship with wild German actor Klaus Kinski. I liked how Herzog kept the camera rolling as Kinski went off on one of his mad rages, as it captured the footage that is most valuable to an audience; to an extent the ‘behind the scenes’.

Looking at both the 3 minute wonders on YouTube and Herzog’s documentaries, I have learnt that to produce a successful documentary one must go outside to box and create a piece that is different to many others. Like in the video above, I will be aiming to use cutaways of archive footage when editing to set up a template for the audience, so they can create their own character profile for Mark.

I am currently putting together a rough cut to show to the group.


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