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- This topic has 7 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 15 years ago by Anonymous.
- March 26, 2005 at 10:05 AM #36603AnonymousInactive
I’ve recently started a new project: a short documentary about a Jewish community in a town in Eastern Europe. The “catch” is the story of an American coming over to that town where he found his ancestors had lived (he happens to be a friend of mine).
The nowadays community only counts about 40 people (in a total population of 30,000), most of which very old, so it’s quite disappearing. The town used to be a part of Austria-Hungary and is now in Romania.
I have already done some interviews and filming around town, synagogue, cemetery etc. and contacted people to help me with materials and some more stories.
I have done similar projects before, but I want this to be my best. So please contact me if you have any ideas on assembly and developing of this film. Email mike.video_at_gmail.com.
Anybody with a good idea?
Only 40 left? Out of 30,000. Are they holocaust survivors? The market remains strong for well done holocaust docs.
You should at least screen ALL OF THEM and any relatives about for on-camera interview potiential. There must be some good story tellers in there.
There are many docs on the theme of reconnecting with long lost relatives and places. Well done documentaries can be studied and analyzed in general or inside-out (scene by scene, even shot by shot). I’d recommend My Architect as a very well done doc on many levels that includes themes of discovering and connecting with family, visiting foreign countries, capturing the soul of structures/builidings. There are numerous others. You can probably find them by accident. The doc Shanghai Ghetto is a standout, and the survivors revisiting their old neighborhood in Shanghai may be germane to your project. For footage that has really grabbed me in a film or commercial, I sometimes dub into slow motion to see what is actually going on from an editing standpoint. Both My Architect (Oscar nominee for ’04) and Shanghai Ghetto are available from amazon.
Your neighborhood sounds like travelogue material. Perhaps you could work that appeal into the doc or make it dominant. Among those who do foreign travel, Eastern Europe seems to be a hot destination right now. I can’t go anywhere without meeting someone who’s been to Prague in the last two years or is planning this trip or a revisit.
Good luck to you. Get busy, have fun, and get ready to drink lots of coffee!
REGARDS … TOM 8)
Tom, thanks for your input. I was beginning to worry that people look away when they see “Romania”…
So indeed, most of the few Jews remaining in Radauti are Holocaust survivers and I got some off-camera stories already, just when doing the research, and I’m sure it will be no problem to get them again on-camera. But screening 40 people… I haven’t really thought about it before you mentioned it. It’s a tough one. Interesting, of course, and useful, but I have to talk it through with my partners, because initially we had decided to make a 15-20 min short video. Attending the Saturday service and some non-religious activities is a must and the head of the community is very cooperative, since no videographer showed interest in their community since the 70’s.
Time is not an issue, as we plan to have this produced by fall, so it’s no rush. Thanks again for your ideas. I hope I get some more feedback from this forum.
Can anyone give some more ideas?
OK, thought I’d continue this thread instead of opening a new one so that you can see my initial point.
Things are advancing fast. I am now looking for someone to do my CG. Unfortunately, I can’t pay you (at least not right now) but for the record, I’m not doing it for the money either.
So if any freelance graphician is interested, please e-mail me at mike.video_at_gmail.com.
Thanks and have a nice day!