The Documentary Dance for Recovery Behind the Scenes is almost complete. Final edits today and then it is sent to the project organisers. It’s been the biggest project in my short film making journey so far.
Many documentaries are done by a full crew and have the luxury of people specialising in editing of sound, image, camera work and they have access to some time saving programs like Pluralise etc – films even short films benefit from having a lot of crew on board. But ABC Open has taught me it is possible to work on a shoe string, but this means it can take more time. I have an even tighter shoe string budget than ABC too (: just explaining the limitiations of my current small film set up. Sounds like time for me to set up some serious collaborations and search out funding.
I have had to make this documentary fairly independently, with some support and mentoring being provided by Leandro from ABC Open and my hubby David who truly is a genius in coming up with creative ways to solve our lack of expensive equipment, we used our tablet with an application to collect the sound – which was a step up in quality from our mobile phone, but it probably has some better apps, I’ll have to ask Leandro and google for some more advice. I loved having access to Dez Green’s beautiful sound track, which was used for Danielle’s show. He’s a talented man and himself a budding film maker and music maker for stage shows.
It’s been brilliant interviewing and going over some raw footage with Danielle Wilson since the workshop and mixing it in. Danielle is so eloquent in explaining the processes behind her project. It’s a thoughtful interview. Also mixed into the documentary are some shots collected from one of the preplanning meetings and some of the footage collected at the workshop.
The documentary film makes extensive use of photograph stills as well as video and gives a sneak peek of the performance as I filmed it from the behind the scenes. An additional challenge to this film was collecting footage which gave participants a sense of privacy and space as they were involved in ‘healing the past from the cyclone.’
It is not uncommon for documentary makers to work with sensitive subjects and to have to come up with filmic solutions and compromises in reaching their goals of an interesting story shot in an interesting way. Trust is important in making many documentary films and many are in search of emotional truth. I will do some more research and future blogs on documentary films I have seen that have moved or inspired me and find out about some famous ones for my readers.
Mark Edwards has filmed and edited a very polished version of the silhouette performance and after viewing the documentary I am sure you will be keen and very curious to see his film; I have seen some of the early edits and it’s looking like it will be fantastic.
The making of this mini documentary has given me enormous insight not only into Danielle’s vision of Dance for Recovery, and the work and team needed to help her realise that vision, but also into taking my own film making to the next level and assisting me to develop more confidence and skills in this very interesting genre. It would certaintly be brilliant to have access to a few more programs, some better lenses, sound equipment and more helpers, but I’ve definitely learnt that anything is possible, even if you have limited resources. Now just imagine with more resources, finances, and a bigger team, yes maybe its time to hit trop fest sometime soon.
Dance for Recovery was funded by FNQ Volunteers, Queensland and Australian Governments, Isay project, Connecting Community Voices, and involved many volunteers and a small budget for production for some contributing Artists.