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Cooperative Effort For Shooting a Documentary
  • Hi Guys, I have an idea I'd like to discuss here. I want to start a documentary project that would tell the story of the Greatest Depression (the current one) through the eyes of ordinary people from all over the world. I'm still writing a pitch, but for now I'd like to ask if there might be other folks interested in joining me. There is no story arc so far, but I guess we may find a way to show how the slowing economy is impacting the lives of peasants in Latin America, workers in Asia, teachers in the US, public employees in Europe. No experts, no talking heads, just raw stories from the ground. All countries are welcome: Brazil, Mexico, China, Greece, Portugal, Italy, USA you name it. Any suggestions, ideas, comments are greatly appreciated. At the early stage of the project I'm planning to edit a 2-3 minutes long promo video which I'm going to pitch to my company's leadership. If they approve it the project (I'm calling it Project Babylon) may get funding. What I may need from those interested is 1 minute of the topic related footage (wide shots, closeups, medium closeups, brief SOTs) from your country. Of course it has to be cinematic and properly framed... and shot with the hacked/unhacked GH2 (or any other DSLR). I haven't yet started doing anything but from all angles I find this idea quite exciting. Please join me if you agree.

    in case my previous work is of any relevance, here's the link to my recent documentary

    (I've already posted it on

  • 60 Replies sorted by
  • I´m in mexico count me in to get footage, although it would be more precise if we had some kind of guide to search for the images. I´m glad to participate in the structure and give ideas. Contact me at

  • @leonbeas Fantastic. Now we have one camera in New York. One in Karachi. And you in Mexico. Who else will dare to join us? Anybody from Europe? Maybe Greece?

  • @GOODEMPIRE Hi, I'm Greek but I'm studying film in UK at the moment. I'm in Greece right now for easter working on a few fiction films and will be here for the next month, go back to UK in May and come back in June so depending on timing I might be interested in contributing. I've also got a lot of footage of a pretty huge and violent demonstration in central Athens that I shot last summer on an unhacked GH2 with my 15mm rig. Also, I know someone in Corfu who is planning to shoot a documentary on how the crisis is affecting the everyday lives of people.

  • If you have any interest in getting a perspective from Canada, I'd be very interested in participating. I'm in Montreal and am fluent in both English and French. I know that's not very exotic so let me know.


  • @stefanos @spacewig Great. Again, at this stage we only need to produce a good looking trailer (2-3 minutes) which can help us to get the funding. So it doesn't have to be a complete story. And the language barrier is also unimportant because we only need visuals. I'll post a pitch here later during the week. And I'm open to any suggestions/criticism. To get an idea of what I have in mind check the trailer for the film "Babel" by A.Innarritu. More soon.

  • I´m in Italy, in the near of Venice, if I could better understand what you will you can count me.

  • Another New York camera here. Count me in.

  • Good. Everyone is welcome. Here's a great article you may want to read if you have time.

    I'm still researching.

  • I would like to join the project too. I am in south-west Finland.

  • Couple shots from Wall Street:)

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  • Ok. So here is the deal. I'm still thinking about the possible story arc and I encourage you guys to throw in your 20 cents. At this point we may want to follow the path of Globalization and take a look at the US supermarket with groceries and products from all over the world (Italy, Mexico, Greece, etc). This may (or may not) give us the vehicle to tie different stories together. In the most primitive way we can meet a worker in New Jersey who can no longer afford buying products from Italy, and then, say, a farmer in Italy (Mexico ...whatever ) who is facing problems because international markets are going down and domestic consumption is low and then go to Greece or anywhere else. Here are the participating countries at this point: US, Canada, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil (hopefully), Finland, Ukraine (hopefully) I was also thinking about finding a unique product with various countries involved in its production cycle, which might serve as this transition tool. Regardless of that... There is still plenty of time to think. What I need now — to sell the idea and get support is the following (corrections and changes are totally welcome):

    1-2-3 minutes worth of raw footage from every country. including: — 4-5 generic landmark shots to set up the location (wide, MCU, CU) — 5-10 shots of the particular place affected by the economic crisis. It could be a farm, a factory, a community center, a warehouse, a school, virtually anything. Nobody can get better access to such a character than the cinematographer living in the same area. — 5-10 shots of the person who you may suggest as your story's main character. Here we need closeups, not only wideshots. Maybe extreme closeups (hands of the working man, eyes, faces etc). The person should be looking right into the camera and standing still. No talking.

    footage of strikes/riots/protests will also be of great help

    each shot 7-12 seconds

    that's it. we may exchange footage through dropbox or other public servers. I'll then edit the trailer in full coordination with the team. After that we may start thinking about making it a real documentary. From my experience pitching with video is a far more promising way to reach your goal.

    Now back to my research. Jump in. Share what you think.

  • @GOODEMPIRE I'm in Spain right now. Count on me.

  • I'm going out to shoot more tomorrow. Will post here later.

  • Hey! I'm not i Brazil at the moment, But I'll be shooting there (and in venezuela) from may. at the moment in Bologna. I have some footage from the somewhat naive-hipster prostests and cinema-university ocupation that happened here while berlusconi was getting out. Someparts of it can still have its strenght given that Bologna is symbolic leftwing town in italy. they are mostly in BW though.

    Pitty I didn't shoot anything while in S petesburg.

    I like the idea of shooting food cycle. I was already thinking about starting to dig a bit more about the food transportation world in Brazil. ( we don't have trains and it's mainly all carried by truckdrivers.

    I thought about taking some key products and showing the whole process it goes through(as well). but it definetelly more interesting having a coffe made off brazilian beans been drunk in Finland than in Brazil itself. or showing a salmon from chile selling for cheaper ( or more expensive) than norweagian ones in scandinavian land (I've seen it once). Not really arguments, but definetelly a lot to develop when it comes to cross-country food distribution. Maybe once we know who's in we can develop it. maybe an Idea would be having these global massive world cycle as oposed to micro economical enviroments, of say a peasant in brazil who eats mainly what's produced around who ends up having a miserable life to sustain this strange economic structure. The end of oil, transport future alternatives or future alternatives to food diets. There is room for exoticism, its history. As well as space for portraiting potato tobacco and coffe going to europe for the first time. delicacy. Well, definetelly a lot of subjects that would be nice to explore in a cross-country doc. my scketch was primarily focused on cultural (historical) and political management problems primally as oposed to a broader structure perspective. ( which I find to be more urgent in Brazil) but they are definetelly more than corelated and would be nice focusing on a universal economical problem. I'll only have proper time to invest research and think about this in June and mainly next semester ( when I intend living around São Paulo). For now, maybe next week I'll be able to escape from town and shoot in the country side -italy- ( although I'm sure I won't be able to shoot for longer than a day). So not sure I'll be of much help at the moment. would be happy to see a brain-storm sequence. I'll come back later with a clearer mind.

  • @ttancredi No problem. We don't really need a lot of footage from each participant at this stage. Just some establishing shots and some closeups. Not much. This is only to make the idea look truly universal. I was shooting today and will be shooting more tomorrow. I appreciate your contribution and find your ideas very interesting (especially food chain). We kind of know the main idea, what's missing is the smart and unique way to turn it into a story. Meanwhile I got some exciting news which I'll share in a different post.

  • @ahbleza Hey bro! Any ideas on illustrating the infrastructural decay in NJ and NY area? I was thinking about Camden, but it's been there for years and it's more about crime and corruption rather than deindustrialization/foreclosures/financial burdens. We can shoot with 2 cameras if necessary.

  • @GOODEMPIRE I wish I had my camera with me when I saw a group of rats in the NY Subway, but I guess that's not a new problem. I'll be shooting on Staten Island tomorrow.... certainly happy to shoot in NJ and some of the less salubrious areas of NY or Queens. PM me for contact info.

  • @ahbleza Hahha. Sure. Though I don't think we are just looking for sht in general and the shtty side of capitalism. What's needed is the visual side of the Crisis. And what could be symbolically interpreted that way.

  • Guys, I'm going to travel some 800-1000 miles next week along East Coast to shoot some industrial decay. It would be great if we could start collecting footage next week and finish before May 1. I've created a shared folder on dropbox but I need your emails to send the invites. If you have any questions about the general concept before going out to shoot, please ask. Thanks for your willingness to risk.

  • Im going to get a cirugy in the next weeks. If i feel better enough before that i will take some shoots of marginals cities in argentina wich shows the results of neoiberalism during the 90´here. I mean cities that has been created by people who losed their jobs when the open economy has destroyed factorys where they worked. I dont know the english translation for this kind of cities, we call it here "villas" i hve noticed that in brasil its called "Favelas". Anyway, if u need another specific portrait of Argentina, im in. Regards.

  • @anacrofilosoteca hey man. great to hear! are you shooting with the GH2? Give me your email:) I will add you to the dropbox shared folder. And we can talk more about the idea and what we may expect from Argentina. I've been to some favelas in Rio and Caracas, so I know the deal. Welcome on board.

  • Sended mp. tanks for accept :D. Regars.

  • i'm often in brussels if you need some eu footage, but given i don't have too much time, you'd have to tell me what footage you need