Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The editing process has taught the entire class how to truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into making all types of film. We learned how to understand what editors go through and the fiascos and challenges they endure. Whether its from a fellow editor or a producer… it can all be very overwhelming at times but it has shown us it can lead to fabulous results as well. We saw first hand patience being tested and the eagerness in completing the rough cut. Many of us are beyond tired but are thrilled to be nearing this documentary’s final phases where we will be using dissolves and audio sweetening, transition effects, titles, and credits. Upon our completion we hope to have a viewing of the documentary… as well as entering it into several Student Documentary Contests and Film Festivals. Lets keep our fingers crossed! =]
Friday, April 23, 2010
Currently, we are still editing bits and pieces of our documentary and we have officially started Act 2. We have successfully finished a rough cut of Act 1 and created an opening title page. We have faced some challenges in the past week, trying to capture in high-definition and back into standard-definition. Together as a team we are coordinating our editing schedules to be more effective since our deadline is quickly approaching. We are down to the wire with two weeks left of our semester and many of us – both editors and non-editors are learning a great deal during this process.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
So far this week we have created a paper edit, or timeline of our footage, and have placed it into the general paradigm. Our editors went to work putting together a rough sequence for what is soon to be our documentary. We then took our timeline and wrote it out on large sheets of paper, which we then taped to the wall for all to see while piecing together the footage for this film. This timeline will be sent out to everybody involved in the editing process so we won’t forget our plans. We acquired some old pictures of the Ambassador’s parents, which we intend to include in the documentary. We originally had some issues trying to figure out how to import these photos onto the AVID system, but with some trial and error, we were able to figure everything out. Dr. Luskay made sure that everybody stayed on track and only captured, or uploaded, the footage that we needed to follow our timeline. Everybody is working very hard. We are all brainstorming and coming up with creative ideas to make this an incredible documentary. Our final deadline is May 5th! Let’s keep going!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
There was even a flowerbed of tulips that formed the shape of a giant tulip! The sound of running water from the fountains and streams added to the ambience of this magnificent place.
A Dutch organ wagon also added to the excitement and culture of the Keukenhof. One graduate student, Matt West, even had the amazing opportunity to interview close friends of his family. The last one to meet them was Matt’s grandfather in 1945. The journey to the Keukenhoff was the perfect ending to the trip of a lifetime.
Here are the words of the students who participated in this incredible experience.
Pedro Rivera: “After filming the Ambassador and experiencing The Netherlands, I have a new found appreciation for the camera.”
Kevin Talbot: “I have been truly blessed to take part in such a rare opportunity. I experiencing things many never will and seen new sides to people and for that I am truly thankful. Only in Holland…”
Kenyon Hoag: “Europe was something else. I’m very thankful to have experienced The Netherlands. A lot was learning from this project, and hopefully the experience will carry me on to newer and better opportunities in my life.”
Lauren Ostrofsky: “This trip was incredible. The Netherlands is a beautiful country and being able to travel here to experience it first hand has been a blessing. Experiencing the life of a U.S. Ambassador was a rare opportunity and one that I learned a great deal from. The sights, architecture, culture, and history will always be remembered. I am very grateful to everyone for making this trip possible and to my classmates who also taught me a lot. Thank you!”
Alexandra Frye: This experience has truly changed my life. We’ve all grown and I’ve learned so much from filming and just exploring The Netherlands. I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had thanks to everyone involved.
Sandy Ng: This documentary class was an experience of a lifetime. I would never have imagined that I would not only meet the American Ambassador, but also get a chance to film her life with fourteen other students. It was amazing!!
Megan Caturan: This class, experience, and country have completely changed me. I’m so thankful for this experience and can’t wait to get back to the United States and tell everyone about my time in The Netherlands.
Shereditthe (Texas) Pashia: I have learned so much with this trip to The Netherlands to film the American Ambassador. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up. The hands on experience will definitely help me in the future.
Michele Burch: It has been such an honor and privilege to film this documentary on the life of an American Ambassador. I’ve experienced what the film industry is all about telling a story that is meant to be told. The knowledge and skills that I have obtained from this opportunity will push me ahead in life as I make my dream come true-to finally produce a film of my own.
Matthew West: Many people have traveled to Europe for vacation and to visit sights. However, few have had the opportunity that we were given to visit and film locations such as the Peace Palace, U.S. embassy, and the Ambassador’s residence. Being able to film these places was a privilege and honor. This truly was the trip of a lifetime.
Harrison Davies: My experience with the production of this documentary has been a memorable one to say the least. Working with such great peers and experiencing all the culture, landmarks, and insights The Netherlands has to offer was a meaningful endeavor.
Courtney Novak: This experience has made me grow so much as an individual and has changed the way I see the world. This was an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. I’m excited to start my journey in the film industry. Thank you to the U.S. Ambassador, Fay Hartog-Levin, and everyone else involved in making this trip possible.
Caity Kirschbaum: I can’t believe the week is over; I finally came to terms with the fact that I am actually here. I must say that the idea of being here in the Netherlands, shooting a documentary about the US Ambassador, and the opportunity to film in restricted areas, is overwhelming. It has been a privilege and an honor to film in such a beautiful country.
I will never forget this thrilling, unique, and life changing experience. I appreciate all the hard work that everyone contributed. We have gone thru many “firsts” together and I’m glad that we did.
I would like to truly thank everyone involved with making this concept a reality; you are the reason why we were able to have such an amazing experience.
Astrid, Jim, Martijn, Eva, Professor Luskay, and of course Ambassador Hartog-Levin… I can say on behalf of myself and the rest of the students – THANK YOU!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Today was our last day in The Hague with Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin. We started our day at 7:30 and it was very windy. We traveled by bus to the Ambassador's Residence where one of our classmates, Megan Katuran had the honor of accompanying the Ambassador in her daily armored car ride to her office in the US embassy.
Upon our arrival we attended the Ambassador’s scheduling meeting, which took place in her “oval office”. This was followed up by another meeting, with the Ambassador’s senior staff. We were able to grasp a sense of the ambassador’s daily schedule, especially one that consists of many meetings and organized appearances.
We proceeded to the Information Resource Center (IRC) located in another part of the embassy to interview Jim Foster. Mr. Foster is a counselor for Public Affairs. He stated that every experience has a different impact on him. Before working with the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands he has worked and traveled in many different countries
Each country has changed his perspective on America and has given him a whole new appreciation for both the lifestyles-that of Americans and people of the world. We even sat in on a presentation given to the students about the United States Embassy and its role in the Netherlands.
Our time at the embassy wrapped up with a lunch and visit to their gift shop. Many of us bought United States Embassy souvenirs to commemorate our time there.
We continued our day accompanied by Jim Foster and Astrid Bharos following the ambassador and her husband to the Sea Water Plant at Scheveningen. To examine more closely an alternative form of heat & energy, taking the heat from the water to warm low income housing… this is to be the only plant of its kind. We were briefed by Lucy Saunders and Peter Hoogvliet, both employed at the plant. It was very fascinating and an unforgettable way to end our time with the Ambassador.
We packed up the gear and finished our afternoon early. Tonight we are set to have a wonderful wrap-up dinner reserved by Dr. Maria Luskay. This week is slowly concluding with one day left with a visit to the Keukenhoff, the extravagant Dutch Tulip Garden.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The main purpose behind traveling to Holland was to learn how to create a documentary. Day 5 of this learning experience began bright and early like all previous days. We boarded our bus to finally gain insight into the life of an ambassador. We started with an hour and 15 minute drive to the city of Hilversum. This city is home to the American company Nike. Upon our arrival we were greeted by Paul ten Hag, the public affairs officer. He assisted us in receiving guest passes for the day and then instructed us on the morning schedule. As per the request of Ambassador Hartog- Levin, Nike executives met with her to discuss its position as one of the top 'green' companies in the world. She later expressed to us her gratefulness for Nike and their role, as well as all their hard work. As her private meeting began, we were taken on a tour of Nike. We learned from Bill Bowerman about Nike's green campus and how it achieves this initiative, along with the many benefits Nike employees receive.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Day 2 ~
Our second day in Holland began bright and early. At 9A.M. we took a tour bus into The Hague. Upon our arrival we walked over to City Hall meeting up with Martijn Kuiper. He greeted us and welcomed us into his presentation for the "Welcome to the Hague Program." After his speech and question / answer section, we viewed a movie clip and followed with a walking tour around City Hall. We were able to go on top of the roof of the City Hall taking panoramic views of the Hague. He pointed out the Department of Justice, the Peace Palace, the ministry and the official logo for the Hague.
We walked through the streets avoiding the treacherous bike paths to the Queen's Working Palace. The palace elegantly sits behind iron gates with a flag flying high. We learned that the flag symbolizes that the Queen is present at the palace. Although the Queen is technically out of politics but she still has a strong opinion regarding current matters.
Later in the afternoon we boarded the bus and traveled to the U.S. Embassy. After going through security we were greeted by Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin. We all exchanged brief introductions and we were invited to attend her meeting with Maria Andrews. Marie Andrews role is Commercial Counselor in the Ambassador's Office. Following that meeting we proceeded to the conference room for a briefing with John Kim. Originally from California, Mr Kim is the Counselor for Legal Affairs in the Hague. We learned about his role and some of the trials he has seen since he relocated to the Netherlands.
After that we enjoyed a presentation by American astronaut Steven Smith. He joined the NASA team 20 years ago working with Human Space Flight alongside the European Space Agency (ESA). Recently they have finished the International Space Station (ISS) infrastructure and explained how dangerous flying shuttles into space can be. He communicated his presentation to all audiences including the children present. He finished up repeating that NASA's main goal and purpose is the (1) take care of our 'island,' our world and (2) world peace.
We completed the day with the quick trip through The Hague and will continue into the night logging the video we shot.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I hope everyone is packed or busy packing, because the Holland trip is almost here! Please remember to bring the tip sheets and various documents we have compiled that will help aid us in shooting the documentary. Also, keep up with Holland news, so we are prepared for all current events once we arrive. We will be shooting lots of great b-roll and interviews, so be ready! We are going to visit many amazing sites and experience fascinating events. This really will be the trip of a lifetime.
Monday, March 15, 2010
When we arrive in Holland, things are going to be very exciting, and extremely busy. We will be in a new, fast-pace setting, so everyone should be prepared. In terms of cameras, everyone will be shooting at one point or another, so be ready! Take everything you have learned from class and use it in the field. Simple concepts, such as slow pans, slow and few zooms, different angles, and holding the camera steady can and will make the final documentary solid. Also, while shooting, have a plan. We do not want three cameras all shooting the same thing, at the same time, or in the same fashion. The cinematography we use will not only make post-production easier, but will also help us catch the true beauty, and live action of Holland.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I must say as a group everyone is doing fantasically, we are trying to iron out all of the kinks now so that we do not have to worry about it later.
Going over the itinerary for the trip and the shooting schedule makes it feel as through we are really doing this! Excitement is the only word that comes to mind.
We will be blogging while we are in Holland, and make sure you check out our photos along the way!!!
Monday, March 8, 2010
A few thoughts.... Imagine how you would like the final product to look. Think about how you want to structure your film. What do you want to start with? How are you going to build your film? Write down your ideas....This will give you a blueprint for shooting. But remember that in documentary filmmaking, unlike fictional filmmaking, the footage informs the final structure of the film.
See everyone on Wednesday!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
My name is Lauren and I am one of the grad students who will be heading on this adventure to Holland. I am really looking forward to this opportunity to work with many talented classmates and learn a great deal from both the trip and directly from interactions with Fay Hartog-Levin (US Ambassador). I believe as a student in a media communication arts program this trip will be vital because in a previously published news article from the Huffington Post in 2009... the US Ambassador was originally a consultant from a politically connected public affairs and media relations firm before being chosen for Ambassador to the Netherlands which I found to be very intriguing.
As a part of this learning process I also can not wait to venture outside of the country's borders to see what else the world has to offer. There is so much beauty, history, and culture to be absorbed. I really am looking forward to this trip. It couldn't come any sooner.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Well after just four full weeks into our research and preparation it is declared official that the Dutch Coalition Government collapsed
This will make for great conversation with Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin and her take on the situation in Afghanistan and the situation in The Netherlands!
Watch this video and read the NY Times article below for the details!
Dutch Government Collapses Over its Stance on Troops for Afghanistan