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Today I put together a small folder that I will carry with me. In the folder I have:

 

*Important contacts (with phone numbers, email, and address).

*Equipment Checklist.

*Schedule.

*Camera and Audio settings.

*Shot list.

*Shot log.

*Typed interview questions.

*Interview Key words on note cards.

*New Orleans Map.

*Delta itinerary.

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I can’t believe that tomorrow I will be in New Orleans! I am so excited!! I have been packing all day and getting everything organized. Some preconceived notions that I have are:

1. It’s going to be extremely hot. I looked at one of the days it said it was 91 degrees but will feel like 110!  I tried to pack as many tank tops as I could fit in my suitcase! I also made sure I packed my sunscreen!

2. It’s going to be a very long and tiring week. I want to wake up for every sunrise shoot and go to the Church almost everyday. Use my time wisely.

3. New Orleans sounds like it can be dangerous. I need to be aware of my surroundings and use the buddy system. Be smart with all of my equipment.

I am nervous for my interviews, because of this I am trying to get as prepared as possible. I have been researching my different question topics and writing note cards. I also did another practice run through with my equipment. It’s going to be hard to monitor two cameras, audio, all while trying to ask questions. I hope I can get at least one person to help me monitor my equipment.

 

I talked to Lois Washington who is the secretary of St. Katharine Drexel Church. Mrs. Washington has worked for the Church for 30 years and Father John had thought that she would be a wonderful person to ask for possible interview ideas. She told me that her schedule for Wednesdays are usually the best to meet so we scheduled for 10 A.M. She also told me that interviews will not be a problem to get, and that she has started a list of possible people for me to interview. I told her that there would be some days where I will be with my classmates getting b-roll footage around the city, but would like to spend the majority of my time at the Church filming different things. She said that would be wonderful and I am allowed to film as much as I wanted.  I also was calling Father John about a specific time to schedule his interview. He was in a meeting at the time so I left a message. I should hear from him shortly. But here is what I am thinking for my schedule, it will get more detailed when I talk to Father John tonight or tomorrow:

 

Sunday June 19th:

-fly to New Orleans

-New Orleans Grey Line Tour.

-Tipitina’s

 

Monday June 20th:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church. (Lois said that this is a very busy day for the Church, so will hopefully get some good b-roll with people interacting with each other).

 

Tuesday June 21st:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church.

-possible evening sunset shoot at Chalmette Battleground.

 

Wednesday June 22nd:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church. (Meet with Lois Washington at 10 AM along with Father John’s Interview(maybe)).

 

Thursday June 23rd:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church.

 

Friday June 24th:

-Beach

 

Saturday June 25th:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church.

 

Sunday June 26th:

-Early bird shooters

-Go to the Church. (Mass)

 

Monday June 27th:

-Early bird shooters

-Possible B-roll of the city. Or go to the Church.

When thinking of Voodoo I picture something dark and evil. Voodoo Dolls that allow you to hurt others and the poisons made by its followers. I decided to research a little on Voodoo since that is one of my interview questions. My interview question asks how the Catholic Church feels about Voodoo. When I wrote this question I thought the Catholic Church would be against Voodoo. I was extremely surprised to find out that there is more then one type of Voodoo and that New Orleans Voodoo has actually adopted many of the Catholic Religion practices. Also the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau was a devout Catholic. I think it will be really interesting to here from the different members of the Church to actually hear first hand what they think of Voodoo.

http://www.planetvoodoo.com/new-orleans-voodoo.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Voodoo

This weekend I took home all of the equipment that I will be bringing to New Orleans. Everything seemed to work just fine, except the light panel. I am not sure if it just needed new batteries or if I was doing something wrong. I went through a quick interview setup and had my boyfriend be my interviewee. I just had him say his name and where he is from. I then took the footage and brought it into FCP and synced the sound (from wireless lav), then sent it to compressor and compressed the synced footage to DVCPRO HD 1080 x 1920. After this I recorded the view from my apartments window and the traffic sound using the Zoom H4N recorder. I again synced the sound and sent it to compressor. After I had both short pieces compressed I took it back into FCP and edited a 15 second test edit. All in all I feel like the equipment test went pretty well. I even watched some tutorial videos on both the 7D and the sound equipment.

Interview Questions For Father John:

  1. Tell me some brief history on the Church. (When and who founded it)
  2. Tell me about yourself, (Where are you from, how long have you lived in New Orleans, What age did you go into the Seminary.)
  3. How did you know you wanted to be a Priest?
  4. Have you worked in any other churches outside of New Orleans? If so, how do the Churches differ?
  5. Give me an example of some positive and negative changes you’ve seen since you’ve been here.
  6. What part do you play in making a difference in the community?
  7. Do you consider New Orleans your home?  If so, what is it about NOLA that makes you proud to call it home?
  8. What are some activities that the Parishioners enjoy and look forward to?
  9. What type of Church events do you hold?
  10. Tell me about the Catholic Schools.
  11. How are Priests and other members of the Church appointed to their particular churches?
  12. What has made Mardi Gras so important to the city of New Orleans?
  13. New Orleans is known for the Voodoo. How does the Church feel about this?
  14. Have there been, or are there any steps that the Church has taken to remedy the communities crime rate.
  15. Tell me about the drinking down here in New Orleans. How does the Church feel about this topic?
  16. How did Katrina affect the Church and the community? Did you evacuate?
  17. Tell me something about New Orleans that people may not know?


1. Interview with Father John (CU and Wide angle)

2. Interview with Nun (CU and Wide angle)

3. Interview with Choir Member (CU and Wide angle)

4. Interview with Parishioner (CU and Wide angle)

5. B-roll footage of Father John’s Service

6. B-roll of the Choir

7. B-roll of Priest welcoming Parishioners.

8. B-roll of Parishioners.

9. B-roll of exterior and interior of the Church.

10. B-roll of the Catholic Schools.

11. B-roll of kids playing.

12. B-roll of the city. Other areas.

13. B-roll of the Cemeteries.

14. B-roll of community (Drinking, Crime, Voodoo, etc.)

Discussion Question #1

Hurricane Katrina received a lot of media coverage. What was your experience with and reaction to the disaster? Does your perspective change by viewing the event through the Zeitoun family’s eyes? If so, how?

–When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans I was 15 years old, and just about to enter the 9th grade. Looking back I remember hearing about the storm and the devastation it caused, it seemed to be the only thing talked about for a very long time. My perspective of the storm has really changed after viewing the event through Zeitoun family’s eyes. I don’t remember hearing anything about the crimes that were caused because of the storm, honestly until recently had no idea that any of that had ever happened. I guess because I was so young I didn’t really pay attention to the news I would just see and hear brief stories about the devastation. It was interesting to hear from someone who actually stayed and saw the storm and its results first hand, allowing me to see more then just the stories told by the media.

Discussion Question #2

Zeitoun has a vivid sense of setting – of place, time, and mood. The city of New Orleans is almost a character itself. Notice this quote describing New Orleans before Katrina hits:”It was this kind of willful, wildly romantic attention to beauty – crumbling and fading beauty needing constant attention – that made this city so unlike any other and such an unparalleled sort of environment for a builder.” (31)After Hurricane Katrina, many wondered if New Orleans should have even been rebuilt, considering the devastation of the storm and New Orleans’ precarious topography. Why is it so important for Zeitoun to rebuild after the storm – especially considering the treatment he received in his adopted city?

–I find it very clear just how much Zeitoun loves the city of New Orleans. Zeitoun’s primary reason for not evacuating with his family prior to the storms arrival was because of his business. He knew that before and after the storm there would be a lot of work to do, and he was loyal to both his company and his clients. Once the devastation of Katrina set in there was obviously no work to do towards his business. Zeitoun had many opportunities to evacuate the city, but decided to stay and help as much as he could. Knowing this I feel like not only was Zeitoun an honorable man, he was also in love with his adopted home. In the last paragraph on page 130 we hear straight from Zeitoun’s mouth how he felt about New Orleans. Zeitoun was talking to his brother Ahmad on the phone. His brother trying to talk him into leaving the city, said, “I really want you to leave. Your family needs you.” Zeitoun replied with, “They need me here more, this is my family too.” I find these words to completely capture the reasoning behind Zeitoun’s decision to rebuild.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2009. Print.

Today I received a pleasant phone call from Father John Cisewski (My New Orleans Priest contact). During this phone call we discussed the dates that I will be in New Orleans, he said that he would be in town and was more than willing to help me with my film. I mentioned to him the topics that I had in mind, and he said that they would all be possible to do, but he would also come up with some other topics for me to choose from. He has lived in New Orleans for 40 years, and wanted to put some thought into some more interesting ideas for me. I am open for what he has to say, and look forward to talking to him later this week. After my conversation with Father John, I am even more excited for this trip, and can’t wait to hear about the different contacts and topics he will have for me.

I recently watched the documentary “The True Meaning of Pictures,” by, Jennifer Baichwal. This film tells the true stories of the Appalachian people who were photographed by Photographer Shelby Lee Adams. In this film we hear from Shelby, and his subjects, along with many art critics who discuss his photographs. With this film we see the challenges that Shelby had to go through, most importantly having his work be misinterpreted by many people.

Shelby Lee Adams, a photographer born and raised in Hazard Kentucky, made his living documenting the people of Appalachia. Growing up in a middle class household, Shelby was also shown the darker side of the Appalachia and held a special bond with the people he met from there.

I took a Media Theory and Criticism class last quarter, and discovered a lot about the stereotypes we have as a culture. A life without stereotypes is not realistic. As a filmmaker I need to be aware of the stereotypes out there, and to understand that people will always interpret things differently then I may have intended.

Just as seen in this film, Shelby’s main goal was to bring honor back to Eastern Kentucky. Although these were good intentions many people disagreed with his choice, and felt that he needed to leave these poor people alone. They felt that Adams was misrepresenting his subjects, and because these people were thought to be the stereotypical “hillbillies,” they didn’t have enough sense to realize that these photographs portrayed them in a bad light. This being said there was one critic who made a valid point, she said, that these people just because poor are not stupid, just because illiterate didn’t mean that they didn’t know the emotions a photograph presented. I completely agree with this critic, these people aren’t stupid, they understood and didn’t see these images as something threatening to their way of life, they just saw reality.

I feel that Shelby did the best that he could to show the realities of his subjects, and by making sure that they approved of every single picture was the right thing to do. From watching this film I feel that it is important to tell my subject exactly what I am trying to portray, and to make sure that they feel completely comfortable, and have no questions left unanswered. I have to understand that I will not be able to please everyone, but hope to get my intended vision across to many.