Documentary Chronicles – It’s Not An Easy Road (Part 1)

Warning!

A word of caution before I begin…this post may or may not contain some complaints. If it does, sorry in advance, if it doesn’t…you dodged a bullet there.

Actual Post

Do you remember the documentary that I got “arrested” for? We finished it, and though I don’t know my grade, if I could grade my team using ‘pats on the back’ as the measurement, I would have to say our grade would be “hearty”.

pat-on-the-back

But now that practice documentary is done. The 10-minute documentary took us a month to complete and though it was hard and I had my doubts I still had fun and enjoyed making it.

This 2nd documentary is equivalent to our thesis and to be honest, I’m freaking out silently on the inside.

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My documentary is about the Bread of Life Bakery in Lang Fang, Hebei. It is a city just 2 hours outside Beijing. The bakery makes authentic Western style baked goods which is really hard to find in Beijing. In addition, all the women that work there are orphans and have some kind of physical disability.

Starting out, I had grand ideas that my camera-man and I would be a team, spending our days shooting perfect shots of a story that would just unfurl like a rose beautifully before my eyes. Then after 3 wonderful months of shooting the most perfect, life-changing documentary anyone could find, I would go back to Beijing and edit. I can’t go much further than that, because my dream stopped when I got to the edit suite.

Things slowly started falling apart after I visited the bakery for the first time. The first realisation that hit me was that I had to pay  to stay somewhere (duh Danielle!) and if I had a cameraman, I would have to pay for two rooms instead of one. Plus, this was my project, how could I ask someone to spend 3 months away from their home without paying them.

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Ok, cameraman dropped…”But it’s ok,” I thought, “I’ll shoot it myself and my camera skills will greatly improve”.  And for awhile, weeks maybe I believed we would all be one big happy family, with some occasional fights and me filming it. That was until I actually started filming.

Continued in Part 2…

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