Wednesday, July 2, 2008

post-commentary re: gala of my C.A.P. documentary

Yesterday was the "premier gala" for my CAP project--a short documentary about teens and their concept of community. We set up shop at Room 7 and I was say a super special thank you to Emily, my supervisor, for putting in an INSANE amount of work to make sure that this gala was successful. Especially the food and the potluck "spread"...well, it wasn't exactly a potluck, but we had an assortment of nice treats. I was personally proud of my "Dirt Bed Pie", which is essentially a ginormous Dirt Cup*'s extreme decadance is only worth one or two servings. After awhile, you kinda get sick.

So, i started the day to do some last minute voiceover recording and editing (*gasp*) because i had to re-do the ending. At 11am i finished my film (took me 3.5 days to edit) instead of a 7 minute quasi-music video, it became a 24 minute standardized-investigative-journalism-documentary. Very standard, actually.

and then it was off to PANIC about the gala event. I had to set up the sound system, the laptop and LCD projector and make sure all the food and volunteers and furnishings get in room 7! We needed a longer audio cord, we needed drinks, we needed coffee...need need NEED. Thankfully, my supervisor, Emily, was there to the rescue and I cannot find the words to express my deepest gratitude for her dedication, wisdom, support and wherewithal to make sure the gala would be solid.

i was surprised i was able to maintain my composure and calmness throughout the rest of the activity. I was kinda disappointed at my opening remarks during the gala though...I was hoping to be more eloquent and loquacious, but i ended up being terse and kinda nonchalant in a non-ironic way, and then we were off to watch the film

i was actually SURPRISED that people were laughing at some parts of the film.

Thank you, also, to all the staff and volunteers who also contributed in the preparation for this event and the guests who attended. In addition, thank you to all the teens and partner organizations who made my film possible.

All in all, i'm pretty proud of my film. Sure, i have some self-deprecating criticisms about the film aesthetics, but i think it was great overall. People loved it. I'm also glad to see my fellow AmeriCorps friend Kim from CWB show up that day. I thank you for your support as well.

And without further adieu, my self-deprecating criticisms

* jerky/jarring cuts in the editing; timing wasn't as sharp as i'd like it to be

* not enough "varied" interviews--I would've liked to see more Asian American teens in the final cut...we had two, but it was pretty poor footage that I couldn't use it in any form or fashion. Or, not just ethnicity/gender, but more varied locations, like people from West Seattle or from Renton or Kent or Shoreline.

* no car chase scenes =(

But, it was still good and i think we had a wonderful group discussion afterwards. Me and Ed seem to be on the same wavelength about the purpose and themes of my documentary--the value of communicating to the youth, trying open up dialogue. The possibilities of mentorship and less-intensive volunteerism to draw in teenagers to our communities...there's more, but i'd like all of you to watch the doc FIRST before I spoil anything more!

Want a FREE DVD copy of "What Does Community Mean to Us?" Please call or email us here at the Phinney Neighborhood Center: 206-783-2244 or

* dirt cup: a kids dessert, a "layer cake" consisting of layers of chocolate pudding, oreo crumbs, garnsihed with gummy worms, cool whip, marshmallows, crushed almonds, for that "dirty" look, heheheheh...

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