Friday, July 6, 2007

a scene

Yesterday was a great day of shooting... we just kindof walked around our neighborhood and interviewed some venders and got some shots of the city... turns out the rain we are having is more than they usually get and it is causing alot of problems for other parts of calcutta... it also effects alot of our plans on places we are wanting to go... our street is great, but we have heard that there are other parts of the city still flooded... universities have even postponed testing and there was a road that caved in by the airport... so, in all of this, we are trying to get some stuff together... now, thank God, our whole group is feeling good and we are able to travel around together.

back to shooting, it's funny that no matter what we do, we make a scene... one guy, after just getting a few seconds of him cooking, told another guy that he was going to be on the news... i wish i thought, poor guy- he thinks he is going to be on the news and really he is going to be in some idealist's documentary on marginalized women... the other great thing is that while we are shooting, crowds and crowds of people gather around to watch... we were able to get some interevews of women living on the street a few days ago... it was really something to be pretty much sitting on their tarp with them asking questions like " what are a few words you would use to describe yourself" and "when was a time you felt happy"... their responses were interesting in thier non-responses... i don't want to spoil the movie -- wink wink-- but i left them with a sense of priviledge in even asking those kinds of questions... it was also really cool to ask them if they had anything that they wanted to say... it created this 45 minute window of real investigation ... and a scene since they were able to voice thier frusteration of feeling invisbile ..the sad thing is that the crowd of about 30 men that gathered to watch us watch them, probably didn't hear anything they said... i mean there was such a crowd of people around us and they were so intent and close to us that they even blocked the natural light and i had to ask some of them to move back so i could move the camera. it was also cool having these women use a microphone... some of them were like ... naw, you hold it ... and some of them couldn't wait to get thier hands on it... afterwards we took them and the kids to dinner... which was a cool time too and also heard about some other needs they have...

today we are going to walk in a different part of the neighborhood to see who we meet... we have also revised some of our questions... like i said before this whole thing really is a process.. maybe because i am a process person and that's what the creature will turn out to be-- it reminds me of the project i did for my thesis at allegheny which dealt largely with the moment of women making films... and what that means... i was reminded of this moment when i met one of prianca's friends, princa is a friend of diya's who took us to the Genesis Foundation... her friend is a filmmaker here in india.. and is especailly interested in documentary... after sharing equipment ideas, like nerds, he asked me more specifically about the project and his first question was "what is your bottom line? what do you want to say in your film?"... this might be one of the most important elements in teaching documetnary ... but i had to laugh with my response .. " i don't know yet.. i'm waiting for them (the women/the people) to tell me." so it's a stretch from my own education in communications.. .and without it i would have probably never gotten to this point in thinking about media... but i used to think that without having a bottom line you were under-prepared... in these 30 days-- i'd rather be open to a message that is waiting for us...

hope all is well and i miss you all, jamie


richard lamorte said...


so you went to calcutta for flood
we have many of them in the south west.
sounds like the women you are meeting are being given so much.
great - can't wait to hear/see it all.
no sense to having a bottomline - then you have to 'make it happen'

Pat & John Preston said...

Hi, Jamie,

We enjoyed hear all about your filming - didn't realize you are making a documentary! Wow, that's cool. We continue to enjoy all of your reports and look forward to the words and pictures every day. Now, we'll have to take a little hiatus, however, since we are flying to Ireland tomorrow. It will be a few days till we can get online to check your Blog. Glad to see Richard has added a Comment - we were with him last night and told him how much we were enjoying your Blog, so he was anxious to see it himself. Obviously, he did that today!

I told our parochial vicar, Fr Xavier from India, about your Blog yesterday, too, and he logged on and loved it, too. He said he spent some of his seminary training years in Calcutta so he could picture exactly what you are seeing.

In fact, I'll quote him: "I studied at John Mary Vianney Minor Seminary, Barasat, 24 Bargana Dist, which is almost 20 kilometers from the main city. You may ask Jamie to visit this seminary if she has time. God brought Bl. Mother Theresa to this city to perform miracles among the poorest of the poor.Thank you so much for sharing this site with me."

So, take care and keep up the good work. We'll be in touch from Ireland!
Pat & John

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie said...

Hey everyone!!

thanks for checking in! ... Richard, thanks for the affirmation of being bottom-line-less... actually, the way things are developing, with alot of drama on the streets, it would have been pointless to make anything happen...

pat and john... i see that you set up a blog fpr ireland.. i will for sure check it out!! thank you so much for sending such great words from your priest.. i'm not sure if we will be bale to make it to he seminary... but it will be great to share experiences with him... and you never know for the future... safe travels and looking forward to sharing!

peace, jamie