Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rough cut...very rough

So over Thanksgiving break I dove into editing - finally having 3 segments - our only 3 segments, I don't think we're going to have time for anything else unfortunately. We have the panel, Mars's first interview, and the dig and dive convo. Me and Zoë have a plan for this film now. We are going to open the film with old photos of couples, like from the 50's to contrast with couples today. Dating today obviously not being what it used to be, since we have things like tinder now that assist us with finding dates... cough cough (the definition of date very loose here...more like hook up). But anyway, then we're going to go into some of our Vox pops, where people give brief comments about tinder, what they think it is, what they think it's used for, etc. Then we need to explain tinder - so Mars comes in, being our expert. We have him comment about about the app, and about hook up culture today, then we cut to the panel. We think the panel is best shown first because the guys are kind of a little clueless so they'll serve as a natural progression of understanding, from say the audience's perspective, about what tinder really is. From the panel, we'll go to Mars again, and he'll be shown in a longer segment, where he explains tinder more in-depth, how men and women use it, and then he'll transition into his card game. We realized the main topic of the film was no longer the card game, since there is only so much you can say about that - but what the card game can be for the film, is a strong metaphor of what dating and hooking up is today...a game. We get this answer from every subject we talked to. So after Mars's interview, we will go to the dig and dive footage where the actual card game is played. More important than the card game tho is the conversation over top of it. The footage, as predicted, came out great. I have what feels like a million angles of footage to work with which means no more jump cuts Hallelujah! But, this footage is by far our most dynamic, in visuals, but also in content. Katie Mac's perspective really adds substance, she is great, all her responses, and she becomes in my opinion, the strongest voice in this segment, despite coming into the game late where Caleb and Fox already had a chance to speak their minds a bit. We want to end our rough cut with advice from our subjects. We feel like this kind of wraps up the film the best, because it gives an ultimate opinion about tinder, rather than just commentary on it. And even though we are indifferent about tinder ourselves and never desired to put an ultimate conclusion on the film, all our subjects say to get off tinder, and talk to people in person - which is kind of a valid point, and one being made often in today's society just with social media in general. It just feels most natural. But then again, this is our rough cut, and our first thoughts on how to compose our randomly collected footage, so we invite all sorts of changes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Now "Panel" take two

So we asked Caleb and Fox from the panel of guys to come back and do another shoot with us. Zoë's friend Katie Mac joined this time, the first real girl's perspective we've gotten on this film - besides our vox pops which we need to sort out...
We filmed at Dig and Dive, a bar in Wilmington - initially to be outside but it was absolutely freezing, we did not want to subject our subjects to that.
The shoot went beautifully. Seriously. It was awesome.
We had two cameras fulling functioning, with white balanced, like it looked awesome.
Okay, actually I forgot that sound gave us immense trouble, and it took about an hour and a half to sort out - the loss of the boom mic and one lav as a result. But we miked up Katie and then taped the other working lav to the table in between where Fox and Caleb sat. Their voices were obviously lower then Katie's but still carried rather well. The other part of the sound situation was that I had to actually sit underneath the booth for the length of the shoot (45 mins...) to be able to adjust the levels and use the H6N to record sound as well, as back up. But despite that, the conversation was perfect, humor still intact, questions and responses flowing freely, I don't think Zoë had to interject more than 3 times in 45 minutes. Our 3 subjects played Mars's cards game, and Michelle got beautiful B-roll of the cards and our players' hands. I'm actually geeking out cuz I'm going to have so much good looking footage to use for the first time in this whole filming process. I also, think this footage will serve as our connector between Mars and the first panel because we bring two of the guys back, and we have the card game this time, so it's pulling elements of both segments. It could work out okay I think!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Not much to talk about...

So after our last shoot with Mars I'd say we're a little dejected. All our plans keep falling through, we wanted to set up a tinder date between one of our panel members and a girl he matched with on tinder, but unfortunately I left halfway through the weekend and did not return until later on monday and he wasn't feeling comfortable to do the date without me being there (since he's my friend) and then everyone's school schedules then got in the way during the week so that's where we ended up... no tinder date, no new footage. I did start doing some serious editing though. I cut the panel how I felt was amusing - being that the guys were each pretty humorous. I used title cards to organize the responses, and also be able to cut out a lot of the rambling. But it is very rough to say the least. Some severe color correction needs to happen, and possibly some smoother transitions between the thousand jump cuts I have - but that's not crucial cuz I feel like the jump cuts are an ode to reflexivity which is kind of what the panel is anyway. Zoë and I both think this topic of film deserves a reflexive approach, especially given that all our subjects thus far are commenting on this topic rather than portraying it (aka the date we did not get). But after having edited Mars's interview in its rough state, and now the panel, I'm not quite sure how to connect them just yet. Like I said, our plans for new shoots keep falling through, so there goes this week's hope for cohesive footage. We're not giving up on that date though, I think that might be our saving grace.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mars Take 2

So we scheduled a second "interview" with Mars over the weekend of Cucalorus. He was going to be back in town, so we wanted to get some footage of him out and about, socializing, and hopefully trying to pick up women ha. We filmed at Bombers downtown - which turned out to be a really bad idea. The space was great, the owners as well, but the lighting was way way too dark, and the music too loud despite not really being loud at all. Mars had brought a lady friend with him - he had actually found her on Tinder and she is one of the profiles in his card game. She was super chill and down to earth. Their conversation was great, he kind of repeated himself a bit - from what he had spoken about the first time we met with him, and she had great remarks to his stuff. Unfortunately, and this part really sucks, but we are probably not going to be able to use any of this footage, because it is too dark and you can barely see anything. The two subjects sat at a table and played Mars's card game (which he let us keep so that was probably the most successful part of this shoot), but in the footage, you could not even see the cards so we had to make the decision to scrap it.
This project has not ceased its mission to test our sanity - I know everyone deals with issues on set, but we have yet to complete a shoot without a major hiccup, so I'm not really sure what the universe is trying to tell us with that. So without this second shoot with Mars, we only have two main segments, the panel of guys - which in my last post I said was very questionable...and then we have Mars's first interview. We shall see why we can accomplish next.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Panel of Guys

This shoot took place in my house in Carlton, with four friends of mine - we had some last minute cancellations from guys on Tinder that we were originally suppose to use.
Set up for this shoot definitely took a toll on us, we could not for the life of us color balance the shot. My light cream walls looked vibrantly yellow - this will have to be something we fix in post.

Sound turned out pretty good despite our complications with the lavs. Originally each panelist was to wear a mic, but for some reason we could not get the receiver to match with the transmitter so we had to go with the camera and boom mic, which sounded pretty clear through the H6n (I was in charge of sound). One of the panelists however, had a very loud laugh that kept peaking, so I continuously adjusted the levels on the H6n which hopefully will not come back to haunt me.

The panelists themselves were great. They carried on conversation effortlessly, Zoë only occasionally had to ask a question to steer them back on course a bit. Each panelist had a unique personality, which became very evident on camera. Caleb lead most of the conversation, being the only member still using tinder, and he was perhaps the boldest source of humor. Fox was the older panelist who knew nothing of tinder so his questions about the app were answered by Caleb. Peter was the wise one on set, applying the psychology behind tinder, and Zach was the innocent one who offered his very sincere thoughts about tinder, a gentler type of humor.

Once every was finally set up, the shoot only lasted about 30 mins. It was pretty efficient. All hands on set were very helpful - Zoë and myself obviously, but Michelle our dp as well and Symone who assists with sound. We're hoping this panel will serve as a strong male perspective of tinder, one that will coincide with Mar's interview - being that he is also a male. We're thinking this is a unique approach being that we are an all female crew.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mars's Interivew

So Mars is perhaps one of the quirkiest fellows I have ever encountered. The guy is not only the creator of the original card game based on tinder, but he is basically an expert on tinder in general. He shared so many stories with us - stories I am not sure we can use in the film officially, therefore can I share on my blog. But he gave us so much information about himself and his game. He could tell when he did not describe something right, so he would correct himself or start over - which took up more time, but will ultimately help us in the final product. It is going to be a tremendous amount of footage to weed through.

Being in a coffee shop we had to occasionally pause filming for the coffee grinders or for blenders that became overwhelmingly loud. There was also a family playing board games in the background that aesthetically worked perfect for our shoot, yet they were quite loud at times and became a bit of a distraction. I think in our shoots to come we're going to try to use lav mics for our subjects so they are the ones coming through most audibly.

After the interview which lasted a little over an hour, Michelle got good B-roll of the card game, as well as the space we were in. I'm not exactly sure how we'll use the footage of the coffee shop, but it's nice to have anyway.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Update to the seemingly random progression of Zoë and Devin's Love Project

As sort of explained in our most recent class, the second route for our project ("The Business of Love") was unfortunately shot down after about two weeks of reaching out to contacts, hearing from some, then from no one at all. We realized we had no more time to waste on getting in touch with people, we had to start some form of production.

We went back to one of the ideas offered by our peers early on in class this semester, that of love and social media, specifically tinder. Zoë has a contact named Mars, a recent graduate from UNCW who created a card game based off of tinder. We quickly decided that Mars would be our main subject for the film, that would inquire about the relationship between tinder and love today.

An interview with Mars in scheduled for this weekend, Sat. 10/25. Possible location: Cape Fear Games (located on Oleander?)

Now, as a result of additional input from the class after showing our B-roll and interview clips, Zoë and I have a bit more to discuss about the narrower angle of this film. Several good points were made in class, so these are the things we need to consider in our discussions:

- Who is our audience? Making a film about a card game draws in very different viewers than say a film about love in general.
- Who else do we reach out to for interviews and vox pops? We've talked to young adults, kids, middle aged folk, and older people...this entire range of ages cannot answer questions tinder specific, only young adults/teens can do this. We have to decide who are lesser subjects are, and if we're okay with narrowing it down to this single young group of subjects.
- What kinds of graphics/animations do we include in the film? And how long are these going to take given our limited time period?
- What kind of rights do we need or not need to use tinder's name and/or graphics?
- Suggestions for content:
     - Set up a tinder date (real people willing? Or staged date with possibly film students?)
     - Talk to LGBT club - gays trying to find gays - an important topic
     - Students from our own class willing to talk about their experience with tinder
     - film people playing Mars's tinder card game -- (also filmed at Cape Fear games?)

These are just the start of the topics to discuss for the project -- Meeting between Zoë and I tomorrow Wed. 10/21 at 1:30

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Up to this point in the pre-production stages of "The Business of Love" (a recent change in doc title), Zoë and I have teetered back and forth on the premise of this film. We would sit down at every one of our meetings (and we've had quite a few), and really have to establish concrete ideas for the project. Until our most recent meeting, this had been the case...now, thanks to the help of our classmates, we know what our film is. A collection of stories from businesses all over town, businesses that cater to the needs of love, the many different forms of relationships where love exists. Our presentation goes into detail about this - but it is quite a relief to finally really know our topic, or angle so to say. Love is broad, but we've finally narrowed it down.

Where we are currently is in a slowed down communication zone (whatever that really is), where we've reached out to our experts (aka business owners/workers) and they've responded but are slightly hesitant to work with us. Some people have been very interested, no hesitation, other people, where their work in dealing with couples is quite private or personal are really inquiring about our intentions, and despite explaining ourselves, these people just might not be feeling it. But this is okay, we did not expect this to be a breeze. So we are being patient as of now, and if certain experts have confirmed against us, we will move forward.

I think we are really just looking forward to getting the first of the interviews, because this will help set the tone for our film. Our experts come from highly varied backgrounds so it feels a bit unorganized right now, but once we've started collecting material, a central theme will prevail.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Expert Interview Bios and Questions

Mother – Jennifer Freeman

Jennifer is a semi recently remarried mother of three. Her kids, Grace Dodd, age 8, Wright Dodd, age 6, and Emerson Freeman, age 1 ½. Age 38, Jennifer graduated from Mount Olive College and works with an activist group involved in drug representation. She currently lives in Wilmington, but is originally from Teachy, North Carolina.


  1. In our eyes you qualify as an expert in love being that you are a mother and wife, in as many or few words as you’d like, what is love to you?
  2. If you do not mind sharing, what toll did divorce have on you and your kids?
  3. How do you share the time with the kids between you and your ex-husband? What prompted this arrangement?
  4. What do you look for in a relationship/father for your kids?
  5. Can you tell me about your first love?
  6. What’s the difference between the first love and the ones to come after?
  7. Describe the feeling of being a parent - the transition from you being the center of your world to little humans acquiring that position; what’s running through your mind, etc.
  8. Did you see changes in your marriage after having kids? What were they?
  9. What would you have done differently in your first marriage? Why?
  10. What has been the most helpful advice you’ve received about marriage?
Counselor - Douglas Owen

Douglas is the owner of Bridge Builders Counseling Center, a professional therapy and counseling center located in Wilmington, NC. Having received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Randolph Macon College, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling, Douglas is highly qualified and passionate about helping people in his community. His center offers services dealing with a wide range of issues such as anger management and mental illness, to parenting and marriage counseling.

  1. What is the most common issue you’ve seen among couples using your services, and why do you think that is?
  2. How would you describe the difference between romantic love and familial love? Is one stronger than the other, why?
  3. What exactly does counseling do for couples and parents in need?
  4. What experiences in your life prompted your interest in such work as couples and marriage counseling?
  5. Are you married? (If I may ask) How is your marriage?
  6. What do you believe to be the connection between spirituality and love?
  7. To give a definition to it, what is love?
  8. In the simplest sense, is love more about biology or chemistry? Explain.
  9. Do you agree with the opposites attract theory or those more similar attract?
  10. What is the most basic advice you would give to a couple having problems?
Bartender – Jim Radle

Jim is the owner and one of the bartenders of 22 North, a beach bar and restaurant located on Wrightsville Beach. Jim is in his thirties, and has been married for a few years, with several children. Jim is also a first hand witness of the minglings of college students during his bar’s nightlife.


  1. How would you describe the basic interaction between college kids at your bar?
  2. Describe some of the best and worst couples you’ve seen?
  3. How do you balance the young bar scene with being a father and husband?
  4. What were you like in college?
  5. When did you meet your wife? How has your relationship changed over the years?
  6. Do you think it is possible to have a lasting relationship in college? How/Why?
  7. What kind of relationship advice would you give your kids?
  8. How much of an effect does alcohol have on the college dating scene?
  9. What is the difference in behavior between a girl and a guy at a bar?
  10. Do you think the social environment promotes or inhibits a young person’s relationship? Why?

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Hybrid Film

Part of Like Me being a hybrid film is the animations that will  transition between the different age groups of interviews. The transitions are more subtle than a wipe or dissolve between scenes, but rather serve to illustrate the explanations of love, which will build upon itself with each new definition. The link below shows a simple illustration from the opening of the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid of the kind of visual intended.

The animation is brief but it gives you the idea we're shooting for. (This film utilizes quite a bit of animation to tell Greg's stories, this link does not in fact tell a story, but simply transitions between animation and live action in the manner desirable. This film however is a prime example of using animation to tell a story, and we will continue use this as part of our research). 

Single Ladies


The above link is to the film Single: A Documentary Film, that involves majority of the elements that Like Me intends to use; such as emphasizing the vast number of divorced adults today, acknowledging the youth culture we live in, and the difficulty in finding a partner today - which Aziz Ansari in his book Modern Romance explains is because today we are all too wrapped up in finding that "perfect" something, which ultimately translates over into that "perfect" someone and that perhaps this is not the best way of finding a relationship.

(More about Aziz's Modern Romance is most likely on Zoe's blog)

Crew Interviews

Being a participatory documentary, Zoe and I will physically be front of the camera at times. The best way we thought to do this was similar to reality television interviews where characters will speak directly to the camera in response to some action that has unfolded. In Like Me the only slight difference will be that our interviews with the camera will be in response to the other interviews we've heard. 

I am embarrassed to say that these two links are some of the best visuals (one a still, one a meme) of reality tv interviews I could find. These however are far more dramatic than Zoe and I intend. Our interviews, as stated above, are in response to the other interviews about love, where ultimately we are trying to establish our own definitions about love. Therefore these crew interviews will sort of serve as building blocks to our concluding thoughts about our own film.

How Will We Love?

How Will We Love? is a film by Chris Brickler that asks questions about romantic love and commitment, and their place in modern life. Brickler's inspiration for a film about relationships came from interviewing his grandparents - this generational idea is very similar to Like Me, which will ask numerous age groups, (people in their old age as one such group) their thoughts about love.

Part of the importance of involving seniors (older people) is that they have experienced their whole lives, they've loved and lost, and survived. With the exception of Brickler, most of us tend to write off our grandparents as out of touch and probably ignorant, old folks, and that's just not the case. U.S. culture is the only in the world that does not view the elderly as the wisest generation, we give all the authority and power to the youth. Like Me will attempt to shed some light on the knowledge and experience of the older generations; especially being that the film will involve interviews with all types of age groups, a true comparison is inevitable.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Love From the Perspective of a Child


Brainstorming ideas for our coming Documentary Like Me, love defined from multiple perspectives, Zoe and I found that it might be easiest to categorize the different definitions by people's ages.

The youngest group is that of children, around kindergarten age, five or six years old. There is something fascinating about a child's explanation to things. It is most basic, oftentimes utterly wrong, or confusing, but entirely innocent and sometimes completely accurate. It is funny to think that we were all once children, yet it is impossible to revert back to the simplistic ways of a child.

This link above includes some of the most endearing definitions of love, all responses of children, that involve a simple gesture or feeling, a micro-action only a child can see while adults are too busy being adults.

What is also important to note about these definitions is that these children are highly influenced by their parental figures, and that many of their responses come from the behaviors they witness. This is also an element of Like Me, the influence of familial and social structure not only on children, but people in general, and their definitions of love.