#4 The Reflection of Documentary in a Day

During the rest of courses this semester, we started learning the concepts of documentary and vox pop, not only in sound & image, but also practice personal screenplay in story genre and medium course ,which supplied us wider perspectives to plan my documentary.


It was warm and sunny in first intensive day, we were required to outdoor to randomly shoot passerby on the street about “home”, which was “vox pop” that I do not know the word until this exercise.

After checked all equipments down, we drafted few questions and allocated each position, Shu and I turned to be boom and sound, Luis was an interviewer and Christina operated camera. We chose a colorful painting wall as our interview background, which shapes good image in the frame but it didn’t support us confidence to aimed our first interviewee in the beginning. Fortunately, since the first interviewee directly said yes, we have had smoother procedure to finished the task. And I realized that vox pop not just started from shoot interviewees in front of camera, the process was formed during we communicated with passerby and explained the motivation to them, which means we have to had blueprint about the topic, extend questions, frame construction and captured nature light in order to complete material for later editing.


At second intensive day, it’s grouped in bigger team work. Each group sketched similar questions related to “home”, settle down the frame background, interviewer position and key light which was a huge process that we changed and negotiated many times, even considered Paul’s suggestion to got it.


Interviewed people on the street is an interesting but sometimes awkward experience. We shot six passerby, some of them like lecturers could talk a lot without silence, but few people may shy to expressed more or no opinion demonstrated, even there’s one interviewee cannot hear questions clearly that we had to repeated few times to turn to next one.

From my point of view, group and individual interviews is easier and more enjoyable than vox pop, because everyone were already prepared into situation and proficiently to adjusted each role. For example, Ricky moved dedo frequently and explained the lighting effect by his plenty of understanding; Anh, Cindy and I modified the angles of chair, monitor and camera to shape  different frames of footage; some of them being assistances to took away pizza as lunch saved time that everyone switched diverse positions to made shooting efficiently.

Once I as both interviewer and interviewee that I understood some questions may too abstract or not objective to affect interviewee’s mood and cause different quality of interview. Nevertheless, both of interviews are unforgettable exercises that we can review our footages immediately and fixed urgent problems by performed individual perspective duties.


During the process of editing, I hesitated may insert some footage of voxpop abstract but determined without use them. Due to most of our images without sound and frame shaking, at that moment though we checked the equipment before we shot, it still happened while we shot on the street and could not fix the trouble. Moreover, we may make wrong decision that shot in Chinatown was little be far from university which caused we were lazy to use tripod during movement. Therefore, the quality can be expected is not very well and I learned watching others examine my equipment is far enough as a preparation, only have to checked every setting by myself can as a sufficient plan.

I took around 2.5 hours to edited my mini documentary. Generally to say, I might rely on my team members to uploaded the footage frequently that caused I couldn’t accurately found footage material and affected how I organized them. Thus, I just edited short video, discarded most individual and abstract footage to achieve specific theme “home”.

For me, the most insufficiency is still need practice to organize and label footage, and then should improve my speed and unskillful technique. However, I quite enjoy to searched background music that listened differ genre provide me energy to shape my video mode. Hence, the sound editing might as most confident part in the whole film.

Nevertheless, the more practical experiences is the only way to establish professional, when I get more material to edit, I know I earn extra chance to enrich my proficiency.

Author: AthenaChueh

Fly Away From Here

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