Pre-production and Reflection

Tomorrow I’m planning on filming my craft fair documentary. In terms of preplanning, the questions I’m going to ask are a. What inspired you to start doing this? b. Has creating always come naturally to you, or have there been times that you’ve struggled to produce something artistic? c. How do you feel about Etsy? Do you feel your line of work is benefitted or hindered by it?

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For my documentary choice this week, I went with something a bit dark and watched Aileen Wuornos: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. This documentary tells the tale of the events surrounding the murder of seven men, who each were killed by Aileen Wuornos.

This documentary relied heavily on b-roll and outside footage. Many times, the narrator would be voicing over scenes, explaining the stories and the sequence of events, but there were also times where the film relied on previously shot footage. For example, the confession of Wuornos and the responses of the murder victims’ spouses have been taped by other sources. This footage is often grainier and of lesser quality than the footage shot by the documentary maker. However, this footage adds another dimension to the film, and inserts the viewer into an older, more organic feeling view point.

The documentary did a wonderful job at showing how psychotic Wuornos was. By strategically placing the footage of her stone-coldly admitting to lying on stand to try and cheat the system right before the footage of her on trial, it highlights just how lacking in morals the woman was. It also showed how much of a sociopath the killer was. To know that every sentence she spouted was a lie, including each wobble in the voice, each emotional stutter, and each frightened tear, is chilling. Structurally, the documentary is very well put together, and the clips are shown in an order that maximizes the impact of the film.

It was also interesting to note that although the documentary maker allowed his voice and his questions to be heard, he allowed the person he was interviewing sufficient time to speak. Even when the people he was talking with said something completely outlandish or offensive, he wouldn’t interrupt them. Instead, he would give them an appropriate amount of time to voice their thoughts, no matter what they were. This, I feel, was one of the most important parts of the documentary. He asked the appropriate questions, ones that I wanted to know the answers to, but let the subject ramble and go on tangents, ones that I also found myself wanting to hear.

Overall, the documentary was very interesting and well crafted. The creator did a great job of putting it together, and crafted it in a way that maximized the impact of what both Wuornos and the others (such as friends and family) were saying.

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