Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are You An Explorer?

Near Koffee on Audubon
Do you like to Explore?  Are you new to New Haven?  What happened to Ye Olde Haven?  I don't know either.  Let's find out.

Search town and meet interesting people using this amazing new device we've dubbed "the internet."  You can over-dub the internet with dub reggae, if you know how [latest vid].  Think it's dumb?  Well, we don't have a budget!  Imagine how much more incredulous the material here on the #Nhv's would be if we were partnered with an organization like a university or a nonprofit.

News about the Mayoral Footage

New Plan
During the primary season, Nhv.Org reached out to each and every mayoral candidate to get an interview.  Every campaign reached out to us, interested in being a part of the process.

Unfortunately, a mechanical failure in the hard drive (Seagate) which was recently acquired somehow caused an error which no longer allows that data to be readable.  Still-frames of these interviews still exist.  It was filmed in 1080p and I thought that the idea was well-developed.  Here was the concept:

Summary of Mayoral Candidate Interviews
From What I Remember of Them

Stephen Poland, a resident of East Rock, interviewed Toni Harp, admittedly at a fundraising event taking place at his own home.  Interestingly enough, he quizzed Toni on how she would work together with neighbors on decreasing property taxes, particularly in East Rock.  Toni would not budge on the issue, and stuck with her goals of making New Haven better for all of its citizens, not just ones living in a particular neighborhood.  She also had a strategy for getting more state funding to flow into New Haven, something her endorsement from Malloy is likely to suggest.

Jahmal "Boo Slick" Henderson interviewed Justin Elicker in his neighborhood, Newhallville.  I remember them talking about the Q House (which came up in conversation also between Fernandez and his interviewer, coincidentally).  Justin said that the Q House was beyond repair and that some place with more accessibility, perhaps something more well-designed, would better serve the purpose of that kind of community center.  Elicker also empathized with and discussed the lack of infrastructure for citizens re-entering the free world from the incarceration system.

Community centers, however, with Fernandez, became a key theme of the discussion between he and Youth Day Co-Founder Ibrahim Abdul Qawiyy.  Fernandez alluded to the idea of creating community centers in each and every neighborhood.  Ibrahim later confided in a subsequent discussion, "Why not just make the libraries better?"  This alludes to his increased activities as a community leader at the Wilson Branch, located roughly in his neighborhood (The Hill).

The Carolina interview hadn't been filmed yet, but if that's something Kermit's still interested in doing, regardless of his decision to stay in the race, we'd like to continue to pursue these sorts of conversations between community members and community representatives.

About the Selection Process

Selecting random interviews sounds painstakingly difficult, but I actually found it easy because none of the the neighbors that I suggested to help me with the project were all interested in the goal of creating real dialogue.  Even those who were reluctant due to anticipation of being camera-shy actually held their own and made for excellent conversation.

Locations and Sound Quality

The locations of the interviews were chosen also by nature of convenience, with the interest of finding quiet places to record.  Harp's was filmed on a Sunday afternoon on a front porch of a one-way street which hardly gets any street traffic (think sound).  Elicker's was filmed in a similar quiet neighborhood, very early in the day (one elderly transport bus drives past, causing some degree of noise, but otherwise the sound quality was good).  And Fernandez's was filmed on the green almost during morning rush hour, which was a bit noisier than the other ones but the words were still intelligible.

Editing Technique

The editing that I had hoped to begin now, after the democratic primary, was to take each interview and literally let each one run.  There were some ground rules for exclusion of footage, namely that if a question and an answer didn't match, it would be disqualified from content.  That didn't happen, however.  My goal was to produce a 45-minute film of it, and release it the week before the election.

Moving Forward

It's difficult to lose data and not be able to release something that you wished that others could see.  I found watching this video to make the process of deciding who to vote for actually more difficult because each candidate did a remarkable job of sharing ideas of what they're passionate about, why they're running, and what they stand for.  I've given up on retrieving the data (the cost of which is beyond the scope of my non-existent budget), but I'm ready to move forward on creating new and exciting videos, and devise a system which will not allow footage to be lost under any circumstances.  Or get a part-time job.  Anyone hiring?  We'll see.