«An van. Dienderen Promotor: Professor Dr. Rik Pinxten Proefschrift voorgelegd tot het behalen van de graad van Doctor in de Vergelijkende ...»
multi task job description: risk and shared responsibility: Flow of functions and responsibilities. Is there hierarchy as in the traditional Hollywood model or do you promote multi-tasking to push not only creativity but democracy? What are the boundaries of democracy on a set? Do you encourage and how do you encourage 2 creativity? Are there boundaries to creativity of others (ie: if a camera person wanted to go handheld in a scene or shoot coverage or use a zoom and the director/directors disagreed, how would the camera person communicate this and how would it be resolved? If the Art Director wants to change the framing? In general, how is the limits of the collaborative process resolved? Is it part of pre-production discussions about the role of collaborator or is it worked out as part of the process? How?
How did it work? What was your perception?
How do you see the relation ship between volunteers and ‘profs’ ? How many volunteers are there and how many paid crew/cast members?
Who choose collaborators? What are the lines of familiarity with the work of Trinh Minh-ha?
Documentary approach influences set up of the scene, cf drawings of Jean Paul conventional fiction. A lot of flexibility as for the set up. What are the consequences for the set up and the organization of the lighting/scene?
Documentary approach versus style of the film: one take / static framing, tripod / theatricality / lack of transition shots etc. Comments? Framing: wide angle versus close up in relation to documentary shooting.
A quote of Minh-ha: “Documentary approach of friends’ life is more troublesome than the fiction part.” Versus:
Cf citation of storyteller 1: ‘Fiction is a window in your room but it pales next to lived experiences’. Scene 35:
Documentary influences on the content of the film: Comments? (Example: yellow ‘gel’ for welding, make up of Sherman’s wife, cast 20% professionals, clothing flutist, clown approach of flutist, robot drawings of Tom Zummer) How is the theatrical effect elaborated? What was the intention of the many two dimensional framings?
Community of friends: themes of representation / diversity / interculturality : specific backgrounds ? which criteria. What kind of selection ?
Feedback for crew members and cast? Showing of footage: what was the response? Was it rewarding to Minh-ha crew members? Notion of interaction?
What is the importance of repetition?
Responsibility on the set ? differences between Minh-ha and Jean Paul?
Relation ship between volunteers and ‘profs’ in terms of responsibilities, rewards and hierarchy ?
Why talent releases?
Example of ribbon in terms of cooperation with Jean-paul?
Function of second camera? Openness to remodelling in postproduction?
Comments on the groups dynamics?
Tell me a your favorite anecdote of the shoot.
Bibliography Bourdieu, P. 1980. Le sens pratique. Paris: Edition de Minuit.
Pinxten, R. 1997. When the day breaks. Essays in Anthropology and Philosophy. Frankfurt-am-Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Vienna: Peter Lang.
Mark 004 00:14 Did you experience any sort of multi tasking? Definition of multitasking (within a 00:18 In my particular job its all about multi tasking because every two department) minutes its something new and different. And you have to be aware what needs to be done. You have to plan in your mind what is going to be needed in another two hours.
Mark 005 00:10 Part of the job of a key grip is multitasking all the time. Every second you have five different things you are working on. Sometimes you are focussing on one specific thing but you always have to be mindful of all the other things that are happening.
00:30 Can you describe what those things are?
00:31 Well, if you are going to set up a five K light, the DP might say: ‘Oh, I want a five K over there.’ But you know that with that five K you also need a couple of C-stands, standing by ready to go because you never know when you have to put up a flag or a net, or so. You also have to have sand bags standing by and you have to make sure that the electricity will be able to get there. Its not like you take the light there and just leave it there. You have to think: ‘Ok, well, in an hour, what else will I need there?’ Because you don’t wanna run back to the grip truck in the middle of a shot to grab a stupid little thing that you already should have taken out there. At the same time that you are doing that, you know in the back of your head that you have to have a two K somewhere else. What is more important is the first thing, but at the same time you also know that there are other little projects that you have to work on too. But I never did multi tasking outside my department. I never Continuity versus shifting of roles worked with the camera or whatever. I had enough work to do.
Mark 006 00:00 Its often nice to have one person responsible for his or her job and no one else. You don’t want to have three different key grips that were shifting out, like one day they are key grip and the other they are electric, or so. Cause you have to have continuity of tasks. It works more smoothly that way, I think. For other people with more open job descriptions, like you and Robina, -the AD’s, those jobs are more flexible. You could switch roles easier. You were doing more different things at the same time, but also one day you could be there and the other Robina.
Multitasking versus volunteering 01:15 How does the dis-continuity of people working affects group dynamics?
00:19 In some ways continuity is good. Because you then know who to talk to, because they were there yesterday.
01:41 Are there advantages of multitasking, shifting of roles?
01:47 In a crew like ours where there are many inexperienced people they get Multitasking versus time limits / specific to learn a lot of things. Which is good for them, you don’t get stuck as a duties boomer: its annoying all the time holding the boom up. Larryn was doing that, but she was also recording sound and sometimes she was helping us Multitasking versus number of the crew grips and doing PA stuff. So I think that was good for a lot of people. For me I would have liked to have done more sound recording, to learn more about that. There is no way that I could have done that, because I had enough work as a key grip. On a less stressful set, if it were more mellow, not so time driven, then maybe people like me and Jaek with really specific duties, we can maybe move off and do more things like sound recording. Which on a smaller crew might work more: on a crew with 5 people for instance you get sound, camera, DP, director and a grip electric, you often do much more different sorts of jobs. It’s like in a huge corporation: everyone got their specific cubicles where they live in and do their specific job. And if there’s only five different people in the corporation, you tend to do a lot more of every sort of job.
03:40 In your perception, were we with too many people?
03:45 No! A lot of times, I wished there were more grips to help me out. But a lot has to do with Jean-Paul and the DP’s perception of what they wanted.
Which was, for a small crew: a somewhat complex lighting set up, working on different locations, with the electricity took a lot of time to rig up, often they Inexperience and volunteering versus wanted to have blue circles, and green lines and stuff, that just takes a while paid profs to do. And sometime we didn’t have the manpower to do the job as quickly as they would have wanted to happen. And we were also inexperienced too. If they would pay people $400 a day, then it probably would have been more smooth. But then they wouldn’t have any money for the production.
04:55 So you think a lot of the confusion and stress on the set was caused by the fact that people weren’t paid?
05:00 Well, the fact that we were just fairly inexperienced. And it is not as if they were paying us, we would work any harder. Because I couldn’t work any Volunteering and enthusiasm harder, but if they were paying someone else, like some union grip, then obviously things would be smoother, because they are doing these things like for ten years. But they don’t have money for that, which is fine by me because otherwise they wouldn’t have hired me.
05:33 Do you think there is more engagement or more enthusiasm when you work with volunteers?
05:37 Yeah, there has to be more enthusiasm. Otherwise we wouldn’t be there. We are just interested in the process and in the project. So yeah, there Power play / flow on the set was a lot of enthusiasm, it worked out fine.
06:05 Do you feel that you had enough explanation on what you had to do?
06:09 Yeah, from Edwin definitely. He was extremely helpful. Sometimes the communication between Edwin, Jean-Paul, Kathleen and Minh-ha and myself got a little fuzzy: I got different things from different people but that’s Creativity normal on a set like that.
06:34 On a set like that, what do you mean?
06:36 With two directors and DP and a gaffer. It is a normal narrative set up, but then you got different ideas of where things should be and what should happen. And then you put something somewhere and then you have to move it. But that’s normal.
07:02 Do you think you were invited to be creative?
07:04 Yeah, definitely. Just as a grip how to rig things, that’s what I did a lot Hierarchy versus volunteering of times: attaching rigs to light beams on the ship or something. Part of being a grip is that there are lots of ways to come to the same end result.
With Edwin I was pretty much left to do what I thought what would worked best. If he had suggestions, then he would gave them to me, but he was pretty open for me to make things happen. If you can call “creativity” rigging a light to some beam. But in some ways it is. I wasn’t advising Minh-ha on how a shot needed to be, or anything like that, but in my own little sphere of grip work, yeah.
08:20 Do you feel there was a hierarchy on the set?
08:22 Sure, there’s gotta be hierarchy otherwise you have anarchy, perhaps.
There were directors and DP’s to tell you what to do. But they weren’t assholes about it, they weren’t yelling at you. Sometimes Jean-Paul got a little stressed out, that’s no big deal. They really couldn’t yell too much at people because then we would leave. Just quit, fuck you: if someone yells at me on the set, I just quit. Like Lesly got treated fairly badly by Jean-Paul, I heard. I wasn’t there I was doing other things, but she just quit. I don’t know whether she was too happy with the whole production before that either but we are just volunteers they have to treat as pretty well.
Mark 007 00:03 What kind of paper work did you have to go through?
00:09 They made me sign something but I didn’t read it. I was busy, I was Motivation of volunteering hungry then,.. It was the first day. I don’t know what it says.
00:27 What was your feeling about the relationship between the volunteers and the professionals, the people who were paid?
00:38 I thought it was fine, Brian Sorbo got paid, Edwin, they were totally cool: they were great to work with. Kathleen was fine: she was the typical DP, telling everybody what to do. I think any problems I had with her was not because I wasn’t getting paid but because that’s the way she is and who I am.
And who else was getting paid? Some of the talents, and they were all nice… And Erica too. Erica was great And Brent was paid too. Yeah, Brent was great Independent film making definition too. There was no feeling of superiority I thought because these people were paid and I wasn’t.
01:33 Was the experience rewarding for you?
00:33 Oh yeah. Totally: I learnt a hell of a lot about grip work. I met some Independent versus “undependent” film cool people, I got some great contacts for further potential money paying making opportunities. Perhaps world travel opportunities. So yeah, it was cool!
02:08 Would you do more volunteer work in the future?
02:10 Yeah, it is a good way to learn more and get some experience and contacts, definitely. I wouldn’t do another feature right now and I rather do more paid work now. But if the right opportunity came up and I am interested then yeah, maybe either grip work or sound or camera, sure. Ambition of the project versus 02:48 What to your experience and knowledge is the definition of volunteering independent filmmaking and what’s the relationship with your work on this set?
03:05 That’s a pretty broad question. Unfortunately, the term “independent film making” changed its meaning, I’d say, in the past few years whereby you get all these features in the theatres that are so-called independent when really they are two million dollar budget productions. Which I find a little excessive for truly independents. I often use the term “undependent” for what Documentary influences in the set up is truly independent filmmaking which is more “UN”-dependent, which is more making films either totally on your own or with an extremely limited crew and limited budget much less than what we had: much less money and much fewer people. And often much more experimental and for me often more rewarding when films are made in that way. But its getting more is truly independent filmmaking which is more “UN”-dependent, which is more making films either totally on your own or with an extremely limited crew and limited budget much less than what we had: much less money and much fewer people. And often much more experimental and for me often more rewarding when films are made in that way. But its getting more difficult as everybody wants more money. As for this film itself, yeah it was independent because there was no studio bullshit backing or anything like that. There is not a big market for Trinh Minh-ha’s narrative films. But I think if they would have scaled back the production and the art direction a little bit, they could have done a bit better even with less money. I think they were a little ambitious for what they had. And what sort of crew they had too, which goes back to the whole idea of volunteers. For a project like this you really do need volunteers cause you don’t have the money to pay someone $300 a day. Documentary influences in the acting And with her big name it was not too hard to draw lots of volunteers like us.