Seeing the Forest AND the Trees

Technology for a better world.

Community Film Production and Basic Rights Oregon January 28, 2008

I’m taking a Field Production class from Portland Community Media and this Saturday we had our first filming session. Our class is divided into two groups, the other group is producing a short film on the pinball craze and our group is producing a film on the effects on families of the injunction on the Oregon Family Fairness Act. On Saturday we visited a family of four in Southeast Portland. Our goals were to get some interesting commentary on the effects on their lives from the two parents and to get some background filler material including their two children.

And wow, were our expectations met and far exceeded! After setting up the Sony DS250 on a tripod, doing the technical preparation (white adjustment, iris setting, audio settings), Kevin, one of our team, sat down next to the camera as the interviewer. The subjects (I don’t want to reveal names here in the interest of their privacy, although you will surely be able to see them when the film is aired on local community television) were asked how they met. Let me say, that was all we had to do. These two women gave us such a spirited, interactive, friendly and intelligent story that no other questions were necessary (although we did ask a few others just to give them a break from talking).

I was so entertained by their story! Full of funny stories and poignant moments! Then they naturally gravitated to the subject of the Family Fairness Act and how the current state of the world in Oregon, that they are not officially married, that although they have had two separate wedding or union ceremonies, they are still not legally considered married. The student film team has the tough task of trying to scale this film session down to a short film. Maybe we will be able to convince our instructor, Tim, that this needs to be a longer film.

Before moving on, I can’t help but comment on the interview with their two cute daughters who gave us some remarkably nice interview material.

I can’t imagine anyone who sees our final film believing that these wonderful people are not a true family and deserve every single right that heterosexual couples receive for their families.

So we learned how to setup equipment, how to film, we did a little roaming camera work to pick up some interesting household views, including some home-schooling, and then we were off. Next Saturday we go to Basic Rights Oregon to do some additional interviewing.

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