What I found the most helpful about this class is that we had to drop any reservations and simply find stories and film them. I know I've been hesitant in the past to work on projects, because I wasn't sure how they would turn out. This semester I simply got out there and created something that, if not anyone else, I will be proud of. It's also been a lesson in the laundry list of things that can go wrong: conflicting schedules, lack of power, lack of light, sound interference, uneasy or reluctant subjects, knowing when I've gone too far, or tiptoeing the line of just how far I can go without violating the ethics of the documentarian. I also realized how hard it is to make a film, even if it's under 10 minutes, by myself. There are a lot of little, miniscule factors to keep in mind and all of those are hard to keep track of for just one person. Realizing how important these are, makes it easier to remember them.
This semester, I've learned to push myself and realized production isn't such a big, scary thing. With each shoot, the process became easier and easier. The camera stopped feeling so foreign in my hands and I felt I could compose compelling shots and get an honesty out of my subjects. Seeing that side of people is special and the fact that they feel comfortable enough to reveal it on camera makes it all the more endearing.
The first day of class, I said that I had worked on a documentary short in an editing class I had taken previously. I found a passion in documentary and found its power to be in its relevance. After taking the class, I still believe in documentary and feel that's what I want to do in my future. I feel like I am on my way to mastering a craft in the field, but I feel like I was not able to completely devote myself to the class. I am excited for next semester, however, and can't wait to really dive into Advanced Documentary and see where it takes me.