A Reflection on Colin’s Final Project

Apologies Colin, if you’d rather not have a “review/critique” of your work on this blog, but I was really struck by that final project. I found that kind of documentary technique to be new and exciting, and also related to the material covered in class.

When watching it, I actually assumed it was a fiction piece, until about half-way through the first interview with the man on the street. At some point, I realized that the interview being conducted was in real time and un-planned, which made me think back to the opening scene on the phone, realizing that was a real conversation as well.

The use of tracking shots, pans, and blocking was disorienting when incorporated into these “man on the street” interviews. I’ve always been interested in “fake documentary” or mockumentary, but this style seemed like a “real fiction” of sorts.

I also like how Colin mentioned that he was discovering the film as he went. One interview might lead him in a certain direction as he navigates his way into the second interview. This approach is definitely increases both his and the audience’s “Zone of Indetermination,” as he doesn’t know what the audience is supposed to feel at the beginning point of his process. He doesn’t know how it will end.

If cinema confronts us with a way of thinking that is non-human, than Colin’s approach certainly has the potential to confront reality in a similar way. It definitely doesn’t “ground” the audience with a protagonist, main theme, or certain interviewee that he follows, and the use of conventional filmmaking techniques in this case is more disorienting than conventional.

If I were him, I’d stick to this style and really hone it. My only critique of it was (as I mentioned to him) that the fictional techniques used to create the film became too expected after the first two interviews. As the film progressed, I understood what Colin was doing and wasn’t surprised anymore by the real interviews. Perhaps taking the narrative even further between the interviews (planned scenes of some sort) would’ve keep me on my toes, blending fiction and documentary even further.

Posted by: Kenneth Anderson


One Response to “A Reflection on Colin’s Final Project”

  1. immanentterrainsp11 Says:

    Another issue not raised by Ken has to do with what one does to the material in post. Postproduction is precisely where modes of striation are typically re-affirmed, giving the work (however loosely composed or recorded) a recognizable/determinate structure. So a question that remains is how to assemble material in such a way that the results retain their openness/exploratory quality.


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