Journal 4: Interviewing Pat

The Interview went fantastically. Pat was charming, a great interviewee and an amazing resource. Not only did we get the audio we were hoping for, but Pat herself gave us a whole new set of contacts, leads and ideas for footage. We were lucky to have found her and I cannot say how grateful I am to Pat for taking us in and sharing her experiences with us. We heard it all, from Britain and her fathers longing for warmer weather to the stops in what was then Ceylon and, of course, her life in the Illawarra.

Every step in the documentary process in new to me, and one of the most surprising things yet has been the volume of footage we have collected. We have 40 minutes and just over 7gb of interview waiting to be processed and edited, an amount I was not at all expecting. More over, simple suggestions from our tutor at Uni, mainly that we transcribe the interviews to streamline the editing process later, have become huge tasks. Maybe I’m in a bit over my head.

In other news, I have started editing together short clips in Premier (at least the free trial version) at home. I’ve already gotten my invitations to the Oscars and congratulations from the academy, but more importantly I’m beginning to feel more confident with the basics of the program. As my masterpiece “14 seconds of random jump cuts and test titles” will attest, there is still light years to go, and I’m excited to get dug into piecing together our documentary.

After more contact with SCARF I have organized to meet with Alan, a Congolese refugee that has been in the country for 7 or so years. Hopefully, we will be able to organize a date at some point in the future and then conduct an interview. That’s still far off, though, and for now I need to focus on processing the footage from Pat.

Should be a fun few days of transcribing.

Journal 3: Interview Gained, Interview Lost

Pat sort of came out of nowhere. A few Facebook forays by the intrepid Olivia have yielded an excellent resource, Patricia. Pat came across from Britain as a child with her family in the early 1950’s and almost immediately settled in Wollongong. From what she has told us so far, she stayed at the Balgownie migrant hostel after her arrival in the country and has remained in the area ever since. An interview is planned for next week, and we are really excited to meet her.

The line of questioning we are taking is designed to, as you’d expect, produce a commentary and narration for relevant pictures and footage. I’ve prepared a few already, but I’m feeling confident about a little bit of improv. From what I’ve been reading, anyway, this will allow me to tailor questions to current topics and previous responses, which I hope will be where the highlights of the interview will come from. As well as being a bit nervous about the interview itself, I have to admit, my dear blog reader, that I’m a little nervous about how my interview skills will compare with Olivias. We might be just a little bit competitive and, unfortunately, she has a whole lot more experience in the area. Time will tell.

In other, less exciting news, Eric, the Austrian migrant I was keen to interview, has changed his mind and does not want to be interviewed. Though I am disappointed, I respect that decision. I imagine it must be pretty daunting to go in front of a camera operated by a couple of nervous uni students and talk about what is, essentially, your entire life.

Thinking about  that now has made me even more nervous about Pat’s interview. Way to go, process journal.