People to People. Not quite there yet.

I have to admit it, this project is a pretty big challenge. After my first failure, I changed the strategy a little, tried a couple of different ways to approach people…

But I’m still not quite there. Today I met this very nice guy, we talked about photography and cars, and busses and walking paths – just an encounter in the Transport Museum. A very sweet conversation which lasted almost an hour (I got late for my workshop). Still, at the moment I even mentioned a documentary and a camera, he said ‘no’.

While talking about it with a friend, I kind of figured out some possible reasons why I fail.

I guess most people don’t like being in focus of anything. They like to give opinion, yes. But not ‘tell a story’. I was thinking about vox pops vs. sit down interviews… I suppose if I tell the person that I would like to film their reaction to a certain topic (which we’d already talked about), probably as part of a bigger context it would not make them feel that uncomfortable – they would be in front of a camera, but feeling that they contribute to a discussion.

Another idea I got was to focus on the ‘Working people’ part of the brief. To say that I’m making a film about different professions, or that this is a project about the public sector (which is valid for a lot of people I encounter – most of them work in the public sector), it could be a good ‘excuse’, something that justifies the project. Actually, we are making films about working people, and we’re part of a public institution.

I’ll have to just try to gain the trust of people until I succeed or fail miserably.


5 thoughts on “People to People. Not quite there yet.

  1. Message: I had a pet project last year. About interviews with every student about Journalism, To be asked a list of questions. What they expect to happen, how, what will they recommend, what they like and what they do not. And this, to happen each year, at the beginning and at the end. And the data to be analyzed and used to make the subject better. My pet project dies when I was told that 1. it is too expensive and 2. this is more of a phd, than a first year journalism project. Not sure where is the moral, just remembered it when you mentioned this and I realised I forgot to tell you about it. 🙂


  2. It is a nice challenge, a project to make us go and connect with people, to gain their trust (that’s what documentary film making is – anyone can learn to use a camera). I think I am good in connecting with people (on a 1:1 basis), but my approach is more valid for a personal friendship, not for ‘sharing with the world’, which is what documentary films are partly about.

    As a matter of fact, I have the perfect friend for a project like this, and he would love to take part – but he lives in London, which makes logistics and expenses a big problem. (no, it’s not who you think it is – we’re not allowed to make the films about students 🙂 )

    I am surprised of what you said – we fill in feedback forms about every module, at least once per year. I thought it was a standard procedure in UK universities.


  3. Pingback: People to People – stories I considered « Rumena Zlatkova’s Blog

  4. Yes, but my project was to be as honest as possible and to try to find what were the hopes for the course, what were the facts and why there were disappointments.
    From students, for the students and my questions were quite different than these that we were asked. 🙂


  5. Pingback: People to People – Reflection | Rumena Zlatkova. I live to create.

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