Peanut butter jelly, together: a documentary

This assignment was made in collaboration with Jackie Liu and Arnab Chakravarty. This post follows the storyboard exercise.

Our project consists of a mock very serious documentary on the peanut butter jelly sandwich phenomenon on the 4th floor of NYU Tisch. This event happens every Wednesday afternoon, which is exactly when we have our Video and Sound classes. Therefore, the first concern was the time management for the shooting. We had to shoot every week right before, in the break, and right after class.

We started by recording the narration, and shooting the very first takes of the ingredients arriving to the floor. We got lucky in the first day, because everything arrived a few hours earlier, so we asked to be the ones to organize the food on the table, and took our time to shoot the first takes of the documentary. Then, we recorded the historian, the messy sandwich, and all other small takes on peanut butter.

I always saw myself as someone terrible with cameras, but when we started shooting the ingredients, the lighting was very satisfying and I loved playing with angles and focus. In the micro studio, we had a lot of trouble with shadows and reflex on my glasses, but we tried many different setups that taught me a lot. I have a lot of experience with lighting for theater, but hardly any with lighting for camera, so I learned a lot through that.

In the end, our jobs were organically organized into things we were interested in, so though we were always together, leaving space for the others to take over and share ideas, for most of the time Jackie edited, I did the camera and light operation, and Arnab wrote the script, and did the production/logistics.

This project was very fun, and I believe this group was an amazing group to be part of. We disagreed on many things, but we were all very generous, unrevealing any possible tension with flexibility and comprehension.




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