Falling in Love with Filmmaking

ImageThere are fewer things in life more exciting than the very first time you show a film that you made in public in front of people you don’t know.  Your film. Your baby!

I remember my first time like it was yesterday.  It’s the moment when you realize that you are giving part of yourself to the people who are watching with you.  When they respond, you can feel them.  It’s pure magic.

Recently, my documentary filmmaking students here at the university where I teach in Bulgaria had their first filmmaking experience with an audience. They were so nervous before the screening (see pic just below- I think you spot them) of their short documentaries they made this semester. You just feel so damn vulnerable.

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In the end, the night was magical.  Each student had their moment of audience connection and Q & A.

It was lovely to witness the transformation.  It was the kind of night that teachers dream about and makes me happy that we moved to Bulgaria to work at the American University in Bulgaria.

One of my students wrote an article about her “first time.” She describes her feelings way better than I can: Read it and see some pics from the screening here. 

I invite you to watch all of their docs on the AUBG Documentary Class website “Our Short Films.”  Some of the topics are: forgiveness, film, folk festivals, friendship, bodyguards, sleeplessness, dance, music, twins, triplets, and taxis. I think you’ll enjoy them.

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Of course it won’t be the same as having that magical moment in the theater with the students, but I know they would love to share their work with you, especially because it’s their first time.

Watch and comment on their docs here: www.ourshortfilms.wordpress.com

Like the Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/AUBG-Doc-Class/155523174607612?fref=ts

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A short documentary about the making of a short film

It’s been a crazy week. Some of the highlights include:

– meeting the Bulgarian king (pictures coming soon as proof!)

– visiting Sofia to have meetings with some filmmakers and then stopping to shop at IKEA, which just opened here last week

– moving to another apartment (same building, higher floor)

– planning a trip to bring 30 of my students to a film festival in Macedonia this weekend (Bitola, here we come in a bus!)

And teaching. And so on.

So for the first time since Mark and I  got here here, I felt a strong urge to do something creative, just for me. So I finally dug out the hard drive I brought with me to Bulgaria (thank you, Allie!) with the “behind-the-scenes” footage I shot of the making of the short film “Hole in the Wall.”  What fun to re-live the energy and synergy of director Amanda Becker and assistant director Carrie Bush along with DP Dave Schnack and the rest of this fantastic Minnesota crew. Truth be told, it made me miss my homies but it was also a nice way to feel connected. And to feel like I was doing something really normal. Like staying up late editing something. Just for me.

I can’t tell you how much fun I had working on this. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. Now I’ve got to get back to prepping for classes, mid-term reviews (yes, it’s already mid-terms!), field trips, etc. More updates soon!

*Note: If you want to watch the video full screen, click on the 4 arrows next to the word “Vimeo” on the lower right hand side of the box.