Saturday, April 28, 2007
Doc The Vote
On Friday we all went to see Election Day, and at the end of the day I saw another "Doc the Vote" selection, Campaign.
Campaign is another example of wonderful access in documentary filmmaking, and goes the step further into full participation, even collaboration. When the subject has strong reasons to want the film made, when it becomes "their film," the type of access one has increases exponentially. The strangest shot in the film, in some ways, is when the camera follows first-time candidate Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi and has wife as they argue on the drive home, enter their apartment, lie down and seemingly go to sleep -- completely unconcerned about the camera.
Election Day reveals another aspect of documentary work: if one has the needed access, can you manage the logistics of getting the shots you need at a one-time-only event -- but also somehow manage to capture what is needed for the story construction of the piece? Following multiple crews across the United States on election day 2004, the film does an amazing job of making a unified experience from the diverse material, derived from vérité shoots in Oklahoma, New York, Chicago, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and South Dakota.
Above: the CN Tower is in the bottom right of the photo.