For my major project I would like to do a documentary about immigrants and their life in the US. I would like to speak to immigrants from both ends of the spectrum, undocumented and documented, old and young, and of a wide range of nationalities. I want to expose the truths about their reality and what may have brought them to this country. I think this effort matters because there is a stigma that needs to be broken regarding the place of immigrants in our society. Many see this as an issue of politics/economy, my documentary would serve as a force to humanize the topic. As a first generation Cuban-American, I come from a family of immigrants and so it is an issue that is close to my heart.
Risks & Rewards:
When taking on a project this large I do expect to run into trouble. Most notably, this project pushes me out of my comfort zone in regards to potentially needing to speak to perfect strangers about very personal topics. With that being said, it’s important to have my questions completely prepared prior to interviews. In addition, I know that a few of my subjects will be Spanish speakers and not proficient in English, and while my skills acquired as a Spanish minor will be helpful, it will not be enough to conduct a perfectly accurate interview. Taking this into account, I need to have a translator at hand for those subjects (i.e, my mom). If this project goes well, It is my hope that it puts a positive face to the topic of immigration in this country. If I could change at least one heart on their opinion of the issue, it will be worth it.
The resources are likely the least of my worries. To film I will be using my canon DSLR, and temporarily I will rent a tripod from the HCC until I purchase my own. I have a ring portrait light for filming as well. For editing I will be using Adobe Premiere Pro which is available on all school computers. The biggest time commitment will be arranging and conducting the interviews with the subjects of my documentary. First and foremost, I need to find willing individuals and have their interview time and date confirmed in writing. I have not decided the number of subjects I will include in the film, so that will likely be decided depending on how many people agree to an interview. The only interviews that I am absolutely sure about is my grandparents. I will be visiting family in Florida over thanksgiving and so I will be conducting interviews with my grandparents during that time, since it was their decision to bring my parents to the US as children.
Wednesday, October 18th- format for documentary drafted
Friday, October 20-25- all interviews confirmed
Sunday October 22- Interview questions ready
October 26th – November 30th- Conduct/Film Interviews
December 1st-6th- Content Editing
I will know that my project is successful if my subjects share their truths, my biggest concern is for the final product to be raw. It is my intention to generate an emotional response from my audience, but I think that will be different for the individual viewer. I think it should be graded depending on if there was clearly time and effort put into the process of the film making.
I myself am a product of immigration and I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had thus far in my life if it wasn’t for the decision of my grandparents. I know that this fact will serve as my drive to complete a meaningful and quality film. I know I will run into hardships while trying to conduct the interviews to their full potential, but this serves as a reminder to be over prepared. I feel confident in my film and editing abilities and have all the necessary resources available to me. I hope to have a finished product that I can be proud of and serves as an authentic medium to share the stories of immigrants in our country.