Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Non-committee Comes Together

So here's the final count. We have 87 hours of footage, about 55 of which are interviews. The movie is going to be about 45 minutes long. I hope you're thinking, ". . . how?" Because it was no easy feat.

The people in charge of carving the story out of the countless hours of footage have throughout this process been known as the narrative committee. Although I feel it incumbent upon myself to note that it was more of a narrative "non-committee." Throughout the entire semester there has never been a set group of people who collectively comprised the narrative committee. It was whoever felt strongly about it that week, with of course about 5 regulars. As this is a student-led project and we are all on the same level, no one of us could really turn another one down who was interested in helping, even if it was a scattered showing. The fact that all 17 students are so strongly invested in one story has been the most amazing and equally challenging aspect of this project. But fear not! We did manage. It just took . . . a little bit longer.

We tried a couple of different organizational ideas and finally landed on the most effective to date about 3 weeks ago. Every single reel of footage was assigned to someone on the narrative "committee" (on average about 10 people), which means each of us had about 8 or 9 reels to either watch fully or review the transcripts. In doing this everyone was supposed to find the golden quotes and place them into an appropriate place within the rough script outline posted on our group's personal (wiki) website. It got a little crazy sometimes, and I'm sure not all of the quotes were golden, but in the end everyone did their work. Now, two days away from the premiere, I've seen our work together (thanks to the editors) and I'm very impressed that so many minds can do individual work and it can come together so organically. I'm very proud of our work.

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