DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45
A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
New media open countless doors for inventive filmmakers, and their audiences, to forgo the machinations of the industry.
Finding money and an audience are two of the main concerns of a documentary maker. But as it is getting harder to find the both through conventional ways, new media open doors for inventive filmmakers, and their audiences. All you really need now is a good idea, like the young Alex Jablonski had for his Sparrow Songs.
Over the course of a year, Jablonski made a documentary a month, creating a diverse and profound picture of South California.
‘Yes, when we began this whole thing I thought I would learn about filmmaking (and I did) but early on, somewhere around Porn Star Karaoke, I realized that anything I learned about filmmaking would be secondary to the act of getting out into the world and experiencing it. The films then became an attempt to make sense of what we’d experienced and to replicate the feelings that the places and people we came in contact with inspired within us.’
The project was executed with his friend and cameraman Michael Totten. You can read a bit more about their motives here:
“Jablonski said that he was “looking for a way to be able to make work, to give myself deadlines, and to do something where [I] didn’t have to ask someone to make it.” The “Sparrow Songs” project, as Jablonski imagined it, would force him (and a collaborator) to make a new short documentary film every month for a year. The two met in Los Angeles’s Echo Park neighborhood and began shooting their first film almost immediately. Now 10 months into their year-long challenge, their subjects have ranged from 9/11 truthers to porn star karaoke. indieWIRE spoke with the filmmaking duo about their project.
“Even submitting to film festivals, an act of saying ‘Is this good enough to show?’ I kind of got frustrated by that. I wanted a way where the full onus to make full work and get it seen was on me,” Jablonski noted, emphasizing that the project allowed the team to forgo the machinations of the industry. “It was an idea, but it was an idea that wouldn’t have come to fruition were it not for Michael’s involvement.”
“From our perspective, there’s been so many projects in the past that have been worth doing,” Totten added. “But it’s been difficult to raise the financing for it. Alex, when he approached me, seemed like a guy who would simply follow through. I’ve got a camera, and a little editing equipment. You almost get the funding and it fizzles away.” Even with their weariness of the industry, the two have picked up one shining official endorsement – a spot on Filmmaker magazine’s list of 25 new faces in independent film.”
Success indeed. They not only found the interest of audiences throughout the world, but also managed to make a name for themselves professionally.
This way of working gives the maker complete artistic freedom and leads to projects of uncompromising beauty.
Soul Patron, the enchanting interactive documentary on Japan, takes you by the hand and leads you to narrow streets, colourful shops and serene tempels, all the time giving you the opportunity to be led in another direction. In his blog multimedia-artist Frederik Rieckher says this:
“Soul-Patron was produced by me for my master degree. The website, the videos, sound and content are produced by me in a time frame of five months. My emphases in the digital world are: photography, 2D/3D animation, compositioning, mattepainting, web design, video/audio editing, concept development and print. Producing media gives you the unique opportunity to express yourself. By creating design and content you can communicate to people.”
Just so you know that boundaries between media hardly exist anymore, at least to the new generation filmmakers.