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Old September 10th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #1
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Frist!

Hey, 'frist' in the new forum!

Just to make it relevant, my documentary "American Jouster" screened last month at the Iowa City Film Festival aka "Landlocked Film Festival". Nice to be selected, shows the doc has 'legs'.

More info on it in the coming months.

www.americanjouster.com
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Old September 10th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #2
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Hey congrats Richard! Looks like an interesting documentary. Any chance it will come out to the New York City area?

[EDIT] Or is it playing anywhere near Redwood City, CA - since I'll be out there for a month.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #3
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Congrat! Why don't you give us some details? How was it shot and edited?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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Well I shot the doc back in 'o4 - wrapped in May of '05. Sent it out on the festival circuit the first time around. It premiered at the Breckenridge Festival of Film in Colorado 05, won a Gold Remi Award at Worldfest Houston International Film Festival in '06. Got international distribution through a major catalogue from '06 to '07. I sell copies off my website now. But I saw that the Iowa City Festival was screening 'family friendly' docs, that didn't have an 'expiration date'. (Lots of fests will only accept recently completed films) So I sent it in and they screened it last month.

It was pretty much a solo effort. I started shooting on a borrowed xl1, finished up on my new xl2 - but that's why its in 4:3, otherwise I would have preferred shooting in 16:9. I cut on AVID.

I'm currently in discussions for a new project based on this one. More info if/as it develops.

(Redwood City is four miles south of me!)
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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How did you go about shooting the footage? Did you have a plan up front? Or did you figure out the story in the editing room? Did you have to go back shoot something you missed? Did you have to re-shoot anything? Always neat to hear the behind the scenes.
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
(Redwood City is four miles south of me!)
Heh, heh, I'm based out of NYC but I used to live in Foster City. My buddy and I are going to order a DVD off the website. He's into the whole anachronistic society thing, likes to dress up in full armor every other Tuesday to sword fight with all the 17th century warriors that show up at Union Square. So your doc is right up his medieval alley.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Well, I knew that I wanted to tell the story about what it was like to live that lifestyle. So I knew what I wanted to shoot - "BTS" as well as performance footage. I knew that I was planning on shooting three companies, and I had a list of questions (in my head) to ask during the interviews - but I also allowed the interviews to develop, and followed them wherever they led.

I didn't go back and 'reshoot' anything. I do wish I had shot more though. I cut a one hour doc out of 32 hours of footage - could have used double that.

Like I said it was a solo shoot. Just me on camera, wearing cans and monitoring the audio that was fed on a lav, and shotgun for interviews - on camera mic for most of the performance stuff. Small grip package - mostly outdoors so it was shade and reflectors/bounce cards. I did use a china ball suspended high in the air for some campfire scenes.

The actual format of the doc changed when I started editing it. Instead of telling the same story three times (For the three companies) I interwove the three companies in the same storyline... make sense?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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Really liked the trailer. I love the guy at the end, "... a good way to pick up chicks!" Ahhhh... the motivation for many odd human endeavors.

Every documentary I've made has ended up being a completely different movie than the one I originally thought I was making. That's the fun for me. I think I would be bored with a script.

Nice work, Richard! Looks like a fun project. A one hour doc out of 32 hours worth of footage? Sounds fairly efficient to me. I've worked on projects that have had a shooting ratio twice as high.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
. A one hour doc out of 32 hours worth of footage? Sounds fairly efficient to me. I've worked on projects that have had a shooting ratio twice as high.

Yeah well, you cut the doc you have, not the doc you wish you shot...

or something like that!

But like I said, I might get to revisit the project in the coming year, we'll see how it goes.

I'm finishing up a project for a producer here in San Francisco right now. A retrospective of a legal non profit. Might spin off a different doc from that footage - talking about getting a grant to follow that up. We've shot close to twenty hours of talking heads to get maybe ten minutes of material? That's without any B-roll. Glad I'm not transcribing it. Still, the non-profit will keep the interviews for archival purposes - so it's not like its wasted material.
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