Day13: I am such as a disappointment!

So I started the editing process of my video. As a TV major, I was quite disappointed with myself.
For the past semester I have been using Adobe Premiere to edit videos. Now because everyone was using the program to edit their videos, it was super slow. So I decided to use Final Cut Pro. However, I forgot that the program has the ability to sync audio and videos automatically. I spent about two hours syncing the audio and video manually. I spent the whole time trying to make sure that they were synced properly. There is nothing as bad as watching something that was not synced properly. It is disturbing. Crappy television.
I ended my night very late (read 2am) I spent this whole time, alone and it was not that productive.

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Day 12: Multimedia, a response from Tj and starting to edit.

Today I decided to consult with my photo editor. I showed him the pictures that I had already taken to get pointers for improvement. I don’t usually consult him that much because it takes so much time. Sometimes you can take an hour just to decide on a single picture to use! But this is in-depth, everything has to be on point.
He read my article, looked at all of my pictures. He said they looked great (I think this was the first time I got a compliment from him!). He advised me to go and take more pictures with people. See, I took a lot of close-ups, like cups of coffee etc. He wants to see more human interaction in my photos.
After speaking to Tj, I started viewing all the footage I had for my video aspect of the project. I think I am ready to start editing. I have lots of B-Roll, so I don’t think I will need to reshoot anything. Hopefully my video mentor will agree with me.

Day9: Cameras, sound action!

Today with the help of Lita and Tanisha I shot my first video. The location was in Braamfontein so it was a walk away from campus. We were shooting at Father Coffee shop in Braamfontein. My story is based in Lil Mogadishu in Mayfair, my video is not shot there, although it complements my story.
I met up with the co-owner of the shop during the week, for an interview and also to get permission to shoot video there. He invited me to come on Saturday morning because that is when they roast the coffee beans.
The shooting went well; when my team and I arrived they had already started roasting. However, could not get most of the roasting action because the other co-owner, responsible for the roasting, did not want to be filmed.
But overall the shooting went well; we go shots that will make “great sequence” in Indra’s words, and enough content for my video idea. The only problem is, Nick did not want to sign the permission form, and he will only sign it after seeing the edited version. “Just making sure my store is not associated with mediocre,” he said.
So I will have to go back to him to sign the form.

Day7: Getting on track

Today our group had a feedback session with our mentor after submitting our first drafts. I have been eager to hear Kenichi’s thoughts because I felt like I needed direction. This is due to the fact that there were times when I was all over the place while writing my draft.
He first printed out two articles which we discussed before receiving feedback. These two pieces were relevant because he used them to illustrate that stories do not always work out as we plan out, but that does not mean that once cannot work around the original idea.
Most of us realized that whilst we all ideas on our stories, they needed to be polished up in order for them to be engaging, informing and have colour despite the struggles. I think we all left the meeting with a certain degree of clarity and direction.

I would like to end the blog with an excerpt from Fred De Vries’ book, The Fred De Vries Interviews; From Abdullah to Zille: 

“A proper in-depth interview requires more. You must try to identify with your subject as much as you can; part of you must become him. Yet another part must stay detached and critical. Essentially, as an interviewer it’s your job to find ‘the secret’ – everyone has something to hide, everybody has unknown flaws and virtues. You must unmask and demystify your subject. It’s your duty to make him human.

That requires more than questions and answers; you have to pay close attention to the voice, phrasing, clothes, reactions to the environment and body language. During the interview you look for contradictions and evasions. There may be lies and attempts at myth-making. You treat your subject with respect, but not as a hero. As rock writer Lester Bangs once said: “A heroe is a goddamn stupid thing to have.”

Day 6: Hospitality!

Today I decided to go to Little Addis, an Ethiopian restaurant in Maboneng. I decided to visit this place because of its connection to my story. See, my story uses Ethiopian coffee as a metaphor of how people in Little Mogadishu socialize. When I did my interviews during the week, a lot of shop owners mentioned Little Addis as their main distributors of the coffee beans.

So I went there not only to find out more about the beans’ distribution, but also get a feel of the Ethiopian culture. I was lucky to meet a lady who happened to be a coffee-brewing trainer. She was friendly and talkative. Talking to her, gave me more perspective to the Ethiopian coffee ceremony culture, plus, she made me try Ethiopian food for free! Mrs Binya, was truly hospitable.

What a productive day. Now I can finally finish my draft.

Day 5: Incorporating multimedia

Today we all had to pitch our multimedia components, specifically video to Zaheer. Now I had planned it all out in my head, to me it was obvious that my video will be centred on the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

When I met with Zaheer, I explained to him what my story is about, then I finally pitched my idea. And then came the big question: Where is the conflict? I shrugged. Where is the conflict in my story anyway?
He gave me a couple of ideas and then told me to polish it up for my storyboard. I spent the afternoon, doing further research particularly for the multimedia. I also worked on my draft which was due the same day.

Day 3&4: Losing depth?

 

Yesterday was a productive day despite the all the trouble my partner and I faced. We drove to Mayfair to work on our stories. We started off by doing Lita’s interviews which took rather long. By the time we left the Oriental Plaza the sun was already scorching hot.We walked up the road to 8th Avenue, a place known as Little Mogadishu where I was due to meet three of my sources.

The first man I spoke to, Bernard was very helpful and chatty during our interview. He explained the cultural aspects of consuming Ethiopian coffee, which he proudly called “the best coffee in the world”. The interview shone light on a

The next stop was my second interview which also went well. However, when I got to my third interviewee, she did not look pleased to me. She was rather hostile when she told me that she does not have time to speak to me because a fellow student stole three hours of her worrying time interviewing her. My partner and I spent about 15 minutes pleading with her to speak to me, but ultimately our attempts were futile. I was pretty upset by this, upset that on Monday she agreed to be interviewed and totally changed heart when I went to see her, I was also angry at the colleague who stole the woman’s time. Lita calmed me down.

We then left her coffee shop and started walking around, trying to find more Somali women to interview. It was hard being rejected by all the shop-owners around the area until we met a young man, our age, who was able to help Lita. The young told us of his plans to study Mechanical Engineering in 2016. He emphasized the value of education, citing the lack of as the result of the ignorance of some of the Somali women.

Today, after the interviews in Braamfontein with coffee-shop owners, I started gathering all the information I have gathered thus far for my article. And I realized that it might not be enough depth for my article.  But I will still pursue the story, and submit my final draft by tomorrow midnight. The feedback I will receive from my mentor will be the one guiding my next move, whether it is help on how to add to my story or a time to execute plan B, I’ll do whatever it takes to produce better work at the end.

Day 2: Language can be a barrier!

I am writing this after taking a long nap. I just had to take one after the long day I had. So today I went to Mayfair with Lita. The main objective of the day was ‘simple’: Get contacts to secure interviews with the characters of your story.
On Wednesday, we were told that most people in Little Mogadishu do not speak English, but after the tour we had, I underestimated the statement. Little did I know of the struggle we were going to face today.
We walked around the place once again in the scotching sun, trying to speak to people, which was rather hard. If we did not struggle with people blatantly ignoring us, we had faced problems of non-English speakers.
Language can truly be a barrier, most of the community members in Little Mogadishu do not speak English and that becomes problematic when you try to communicate with them. It helps when there is a translator nearby, but one is not always fortunate.
Fortunately we manged to setup interviews with potential story characters. And tomorrow we will be meeting some of them.

Photography B.

FEMINIST FIGHTER: The EFF's Jaco Oelofse. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
FEMINIST FIGHTER: The EFF’s Jaco Oelofse. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
Former Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addresses the masses outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
Former Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addresses the masses outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
UNITY: The crowd forms a human chain to signify solidarity against corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
UNITY: The crowd forms a human chain to signify solidarity against corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
SONG AND DANCE: A man dances to the chants made by the crowd against corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
SONG AND DANCE: A man dances to the chants made by the crowd against corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
OUR HANDS ARE CLEAN: After taking the polygraph test and being cleansed, Zahraa Khaki and Miriam Hookey show their support for the fight against corruption at an exhibition held on the Wits Library lawns today. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
OUR HANDS ARE CLEAN: After taking the polygraph test and being cleansed, Zahraa Khaki and Miriam Hookey show their support for the fight against corruption at an exhibition held on the Wits Library lawns today. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A mouth-watering display of one of the numerous food stalls at the Social Market. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A mouth-watering display of one of the numerous food stalls at the Social Market.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
DRESS UNIQUE: An example of the vast range of styles worn by the attendees of the Social Market, mainly depicting the current fashion trends of the Johannesburg youth. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
DRESS UNIQUE: An example of the vast range of styles worn by the attendees of the Social Market, mainly depicting the current fashion trends of the Johannesburg youth.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
WOOLIES: Trendy jerseys have been a must have this winter season. The Social Market offered a wide selection. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
WOOLIES: Trendy jerseys have been a must have this winter season. The Social Market offered a wide selection.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso

 

The Social Market is popular amongst the youth. The attendance numbers are increasing rapidly. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
The Social Market is popular amongst the youth. The attendance numbers are increasing rapidly.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso.
From jewellery, to accessories, consumers are treated to a wide selection at the Social Market. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
From jewellery, to accessories, consumers are treated to a wide selection at the Social Market.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
Two strangers become acquainted in the atmosphere of social mingling. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
Two strangers become acquainted in the atmosphere of social mingling.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
FASHION REBELS: This group of young men told Wits Vuvuzela that the Social Market provides platform for their creativity. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
FASHION REBELS: This group of young men told Wits Vuvuzela that the Social Market provides platform for their creativity.
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
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A male model poses confidently, boasting his smart ”Modern Day Man” attire. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A view of a Pretorian sunset on UNISA from the Gautrain. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A view of a Pretorian sunset on UNISA from the Gautrain. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A bogus sangoma was present at the SLSJ event to ‘cleanse’ students of corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
A bogus sangoma was present at the SLSJ event to ‘cleanse’ students of corruption. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
As part of the SLSJ’S Anti-corruption Youth Campaign, this setup of a traditional healer’s goods symbolized the purification that corrupted South Africans need. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso
As part of the SLSJ’S Anti-corruption Youth Campaign, this setup of a traditional healer’s goods symbolized the purification that corrupted South Africans need. Photo: Boipelo Boikhutso

My journey as a BA Honours student at Witswatersrand University