People from teens to 60s are now ready to make their own documentaries.
Visuals have always had a greater capacity to inspire, influence, inform, and motivate people than most other media. How do you document a video in the best way to tell a story? In the 3-day documentary workshop conducted by Swadeshabhimani Media Study Centre under the Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust, the participants learned the art and technique of documentary filmmaking and all necessary skills for shooting quality video on mobile phones, including composition, light, movement, editing sound, and much more.
The workshop started on July 22nd, 2023, at 9.30 a.m. In the opening session, Anu Antony (Programme Coordinator, SMSC) invited all to the workshop. Followed by the welcome speech, The VMFT chairperson, Shri. A. Suhair explained the importance of such workshops and the aims of the organisation in conducting them. Around 20 people participated in the workshop including students, professionals and retirees.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Shri R.P. Amudhan conducted the workshop. He commenced asking questions like, how do you take video or photos and what were the things you concentrate on while taking a video? After getting answers from the participants, Amudhan Introduced Shooting Apps for Mobile Phone Filmmaking, Shooting in Manual Mode, Video Quality, Resolution, White Balance, Colour Temperature, Composition, Framing, and Aperture, Iris, and Exposure. He asked the participants to download certain applications on their phones to shoot and edit videos. He then asked the participants to shoot 10-second static videos by setting the focus and lighting on their own. In the afternoon session, participants learned basic editing techniques using mobile phones :After that, participants were asked to Shoot an activity, place, or person without interviewing them and Edit a short documentary about the
activity, place, or person. The first day’s activities ccme to a close at 5:00 p.m. after the discussions of the documentaries created by the participants. Amudhan also assigned homework to the students. Amudhan also assigned home work to the students. On the second day, participants learned the techniques of interview-based documentaries. The day started with Watching short documentary films with interviews and interactions (Talking Heads, I am 20, Shit, Office). Participants were divided into groups consisting of 3
people (interviewer, interviewee, and videographer), and each group submitted their interviews. In the afternoon session, Dr. Fathima Nizarudheen explained how to write a proposal for getting funding from different organisations and from the government for making documentary films. Following Fathima’s session, Anu explained the criteria for submitting proposals for getting funding of Rs 10,000 to the three best proposals for making documentary films from the participants. She explained the thematic area of VMFT.
“This is a great workshop for me. I liked it so much. I learned new things, and now I am able to take videos of my journeys and edit them myself. I never thought I could learn something like this in my retirement life” Radhika, one of the participants, shared her comments about the workshop. On the third day, the participants discussed the topics they were going to make documentary films on. Amudhan gave guidance to each one of them on how to treat the topic and how they could approach their particular area of work to make the documentary in the best way possible. Screenings of several documentaries (Indian and international) gave participants an idea of how to treat their topic. The workshop ended at 1 p.m. after Prof. S. Sasikumar of MAAC gave a brief of the emerging visual technologies and its impact on the future life and job prospects