So after a long 13 weeks the end is near, once again. With 2 weeks of filming and around 3 weeks of editing, a beautiful short documentary was created; Seeing Without Eyes. I was apart of a small 4 person crew including the awesome sound guy we had been blessed with. Last week was the panel screening and at this point we have received; industry, facilitator and peer reviews.
So the feedback across the board was generally positive and constructive and expected by myself (producer) and the director. The warm reviews all indicated that the visuals were matching to the tone of the overall documentary and also that there was a clear directorial vision. The cool feedback consisted on comments about the lack of audio/soundscape which if utilised I know see would have been a very immersive element to the documentary, also the party reenactment see, although pretty felt out of place and had a sense of malicious intents which was unfitting and unwanted from that scene.
Overall I completely agree with all the comments made and believe it was very valid. I had so much confidence with how our documentary visual looked and I’ll admit I was a little attached to the party reenactment due to its visuals. However, I agree that the party reenactment is out of place and doesn’t fit the tone of the entire documentary. We as a crew had innocent intentions behind that scene however the impact and interpretation was a little off from what we had intended, which was brought up by a facilitator which we originally ignored, but now see the reasoning. I also agree with the fact that the sound scape is not very immersive in parts, which I understand that it should be, I mean the subject is blind and she realise upon sounds in day to day life, which with the right audio sound scape would have emulated what the subject goes through, especially during the “walking to the bus stop”” reenactment.
For the most part, my views on our documentary haven’t changed dramatically, I still firmly believe that our documentary reaches the heart of Julee-Ann’s (the subject) character and we have managed to respectfully show her in a positive light without manipulating her words, whilst also educating people about echolocation. What I must get off my chest is that after receiving a certain piece of feedback I did get a little defensive. An industry panel member pointed out, cleverly, that through the use of editing, we had managed to set the subject up as a victim at the beginning to then someone who overcomes that, she followed it be asking if we had realised that? It got me and the director thinking; we had honestly never wanted to set her up as a victim; which our subject clearly expressed to us- that she wasn’t a victim. Now, I don’t know if that word was just thrown out there; what I do know is that by Julee-Ann’s words we wanted to express that at one point, before echolocation, she was vulnerable and a lacked confidence and we wanted to show her overcoming that. I don’t mean to sound defensive, ignorant or sensitive, but true to our word, I believe we expressed Julee-Ann respectfully and in an inspiring light.
So if we were to re-edit this documentary, I would firstly get into possibly removing the part reenactment scene however ensuring that there isn’t a hole or missing element in the documentaries narrative. The next and most important thing that would need to be tackled is the sound scape, adding more layers, diegetic sounds, raising the audio levels, in particular, during the hiking reenactment. That may mean having to record foley sounds in an audio studio.
Well that’s it for my reflection on the feedback that was.
Hope you enjoyed your stay.