Mini Documentary Film

Further exploring our cinematographic creativity, the second assignment of our Final Cut Pro introduction in my Freshman Seminar II class was to create a short documentary film on a topic of our choice.  I was excited about this project, but at first, I struggled to come up with ideas for a subject.  However, through some in-class group brain storming, I decided to feature a family friend who happens to be a very talented musician and a chemist, Eric Coleman.

Eric is currently almost finished earning his Ph.D. in chemistry here at The Ohio State University.  Like me, he’s originally from South Carolina and came to OSU because (again, as in my case) the department in which he desired to pursue a degree is nationally ranked.  I felt that Eric would be an interesting subject because aside from his obvious academic talent, he is also very interested in music.  In fact, I first got to know him because he played the saxophone for the Gospel Choir at Erskine College in Due West, SC, where he did his undergraduate degree.

I wanted to explore the meaning of music in Eric’s life and how he came to find self-expression through it.  I was intrigued by the fact that he decided to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in something that was so completely separate from music.  At the moment, Eric is also one of the musicians at 7th Avenue Missionary Community Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio.  He keeps his saxophone there most of the time, so I decided to use the space to shoot my documentary.  I had prepared some questions for Eric to answer before we arrived, but he didn’t know what they were before we started the interview.  He isn’t used to being on camera either, so there were several takes of him laughing at himself, but a little bit, we finally settled into a groove and things went pretty smoothly from there.  I wanted to get as much footage of him playing instruments as I could, so there was quite a bit of time spent doing that.  I was very pleased that Eric provided way more film that I could possibly use within the three minutes that we were allotted.

The editing process was definitely a lot easier this time.  I didn’t have to really worry about voice-overs or things like that; instead, I wanted to find ways to include as much music as possible.  I decided to layer sound over speaking at some points while allowing the footage of either Eric speaking or playing to be seen.  Overall, I was really pleased with how it turned out.  I do wish that the videos could have been longer as there were several things that I had to re-edit out that I originally desired to include.

Check it out, y’all.  Meet Eric. 🙂


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