For the final months of Journalism 423, I plan to make a segmented video focusing both on subculture and drug addiction. The video will be about ten minutes long, splitting into three chapters. The focus is on a twenty year old man named Clifton, who’s currently in-between modeling contracts. He has no plans of attending college and has never held a long-term job. After being homeless the past few months, he has just moved back into the basement of his mother and stepfather’s house. Since a young age Clifton has struggled with alcoholism, and on frequent occasions drinks a bottle a day. He also battles bipolar depression and has tried more than once to end his life through overdose and cutting. To escape from his faltering self-image and to feel at ease around peers, Clifton experiments with marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy. He has not modeled for a company in over a year and is on the outs with his manager. His attempts at normal job have ended after only a few months from lack of motivation. He has not yet begun looking for a new job or a new manager to get his career back on track.
I plan to approach the story from a documentary standpoint. For the most part I plan to be detached form the subject and to film solely as a silent observer; the film will be broken up with occasional snippets of Clifton commenting about his life, like a self-biography. The story is to simply focus on the struggles of a teen model now approaching adulthood, without a career and no plans for the future, and who has turned to drugs for escape. The first segment of the video will show Clifton in his current state, with just an overview of how things are. For the beginning I want to introduce Clifton talking about his life so far, with shots of his basement residence, and comments from his parents on how they feel about his modeling and lack of aspirations. Shots of his piles of clothes, his unwashed appearance, the marijuana, and him lying around in bed; all to show the viewer an overall jist of the environment he is in. After establishing the atmosphere I want to cut to his outings with friends, and capture the times he actually leaves the house. I plan to film the parties and the persona he adapts to fit in with the crowd; the main focus being on the excess that he takes it to with the drinking and drug use. The first segment will end with shots of his condition after a few nights of partying, his parent’s reaction after he returns, and an interview with how he perceives his life and where he plans to take it.
The second segment will focus not on his current state, but on what he use to do and his attempts to find a new job. This part of the video story will flashback with a glance at his modeling portfolio, and work he use to do. To show this I want to use shots of him glancing through his old portfolio and commenting on where he use to be. I want to establish how he got started as a model and the amount of work he use to do, compared to now. I hope to film a meeting between his manager and him about his old work and what he needs to do to reinvent himself. This segment will close with comparison flashbacks between his old appearance and his current. I’d also like to explore the problems that has come along with modeling and the reason why he came to use drugs. The main issue will be underlying problems with self-confidence and possibly a look into how these views have come to affect his drug use, current employment, and relationships. It will start with a series of shots and interviews about what he use to do, flash to meeting with his manger about how things are, then shift to how he became addicted, and end with problems with relationships that drugs have caused. I plan to film arguments with his mother and stepfather who is also a police officer, his manager, friends, and string of on-off girlfriends. Through this I hope to show the contrast from how smooth things were to the destructive chaos they’ve become.
In the final segment I want to focus on his efforts to improve his life; the actions he is taking now, and his goals and plans for the future. I want to show his working out, speaking with mangers, delivering applications to local employers, and his efforts to start up his career again. Shots will include snippets from his workout routine, his meal preparation, and his interaction with potential employers. The very end will also have brief interviews with his parents as to whether or not they think he has made progress, and Clifton’s take on how things are going. Depending on what happens at then end of a few months, the story will end with either Clifton posing or walking for a fashion show, or staying stagnant in his parent’s basement and turning again to excessive drug use with his friends.
I decided to try to film this specific person and topic because many college age adults can relate to the pressures of everyday jobs, trying to focus on a career path, and the temptation of drugs and alcohol. Before making the decision to attend Central Michigan University, I was in nearly the same scene of life. I had few plans for the future, a complete lack of confidence, problems with relationships, and the crowd I associated with did not focus on reality. The people I knew wanted to be actors, poets, and artists; they took heavy amounts of drugs and modeled their lives after the past. Clifton’s story connects with me on a personal level because he seems to be living in the same mindset; he is stuck on his past career and is trying to ride out his wave of fame without realizing that he needs to open his eyes to his future. I’d like the film to give the audience the overall message of not to live through the past achievements, but to keep pushing for new ones. I’d especially like people who are my age to see that drugs can drag down the beautiful and talented. Falling into unrealistic career paths and using drugs doesn’t help you achieve creativity and fame, they only keep you stationary.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
For Journalism 423, this is the second soundslide I put together, focusing on high school sports.
“Learning To Fly”
Ludington High School gymnast, Ariel Tucker, 14, has been training at Flipstar since she was six years old. Her interest began after watching her older cousins perform their routines at the gym. She thought it looked like fun and wanted to try lessons out for herself. Although she admits practices are exhausting, lasting around 12 hours each week, Tucker says that she also finds time for school, family and friends, and cheerleading and track. Tucker is currently training to become a level 9 competitor, and hopes her team will again be able to go to state. As for her goals, Tucker hopes to perform well at the next meet, and wants to take her future career choice as a gymnast as far her ability and motivation will let her go.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
For Journalism 423, this is the first soundslide I did, with the decision to do it on Winter Sports.
Friends since junior high school, Brian Sanders and Shawn Deweerd, 22, have managed to maintain their friendship throughout the struggles of college, moving, and Sanders’ marriage. At least once a week, Sanders and Deweerd travel to one of the surrounding ski areas of Crystal, Boyne, or Caberfae Peaks. The drive is a little over an hour and a half, but the time passes quickly catching up with each other’s lives and listening to classic rock playing over the radio. Travel is becoming more detailed and planned out, and both admit that their have been winters they have only been able to head to the resorts a handful of times. This winter has been the most difficult so far. Deweerd is going through the delayed entry program to enlist in the NAVY and Sanders just recently started a new construction job after being laid off a week before. Sanders and his wife are also preparing for their first child who will be born sometime in early June. Growing up Sanders had tried skiing but also just found a better connection with snowboarding, that and the fact that snowboards could be bought at Wal-Mart but skis could not. Deweerd started off the opposite, having bought the pair of skis he still uses today from an older cousin. Although Sanders and Deweerd acknowledge the traditional rivalry between skiers and snowboarders, the rivalry is a small one; both recognize each other’s talent and just enjoy hitting the slopes with a good friend.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I haven't sleept in about three days, and it will be another all nighter. 423 soundslide will be only the second one I have ever done, and the issue of having a 2003 Gateway Xp isn't making it any easier.
Louisiana Night was my first trial shoot for CM-Life and I am praying to God that I can at least be proud of what I can do compared to some of the brilliant people there (ie, Jessica Scott, Neil Blake, Jake May, John,...etc).
Didn't have a strobe, so this was winged. The first photo was bad, but I liked the couple- even though she was in a wheel chair, her husband wanted to dance and they had a great time.
I am looking forward to this next year--