26 April: Final Filming (Again)

After consulting with our professor, we decided that we needed a little more b-roll to round out our film, so we headed back up to Hospicare one more time. This was such a good decision because the weather was beautiful and sunny—none of the rain and snow we had dealt with before. Although this filming day was not in our plans (or quite in our budget), it was worthwhile to take the extra time because we got some shots that we had not been able to get before, and they really added a lot of color and imagery to the documentary.

Check out some photos from our last day of filming:

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21 April: On the Radio

One of our fellow classmates/documentarians Nicole Ogrysko is part of WICB’s Ithaca Now radio program, and she asked us if we would like to talk about Gift of the Heart on the program. It was a really fun experience; we got to talk about the challenges of making the documentary and the people we interviewed. You can check out the segment below, and look at some pictures of our time in the studio.

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Thanks again, Nicole!

20 April: Final Filming & Editing Continues

The past two weeks have been spent trying to gather all the remaining b-roll that is needed for our finished product. During the first week of April, Erin and Lauren went and shot some b-roll of HospiCare for use during our trailer and final film. We encountered some issues with wind, which made the content a little shakey and loud.

The bright side to the content is that we found shot some great footage courtesy of the changing light patterns due to the quick moving clouds. The light gradients are fabulous and offer unique footage.

We definitely learned to read the weather radar before attempting to do outdoor shoots. Regardless, we are learning ways to combat the loud wind noises and edit them out in FCP.

For now, our focus is on finishing up the trailer and starting on the transcription of the final product.

2 April: Editing, Editing

This week, the focus is on editing and what we are determined to have as our last day of filming. It looks as though the weather should clear up toward the end of the week so we will definitely be filming our exterior shots and hopefully a final interview with a group of first-year Ithaca College students who volunteered in the Hospicare gardens last fall. Other items of note are that we are working with another student to create a graphic for our film.

However, the main order of the day is editing. As mentioned in the previous post, the setting sun changed the lighting of our most recent interview quite dramatically. We are working on color correction now in order to fix this as best as we can. Luckily, some of the quotes we intend to include are to be covered by broil, but there is still some correction which needs to be done.

Otherwise, we are just continuing with our general editing. We have mostly completed the opening of our documentary and we are very pleased with it, but there is still much to be done!

27 March: Weather and Lighting

Today we returned to Hospicare for what we intended to be our final day of filming and interviews. Of course, the weather betrayed us once more and as we entered the driveway it began to snow again. We will be returning next week for one final opportunity to film exterior shots; if there is snow at this point, we will just have to work around it. Still, we were also going to Hospicare for the purpose of interviewing another volunteer, Donna, who assists with meal preparation at the residence.

One of our main goals in this documentary is to demonstrate the importance of hospice services by showing how they can make life better for both patients and their families, and showing the universality of the need for end of life care. Donna’s interview spoke exactly to this. When she told us that one reason she volunteers at Hospicare is “I want someone to do it for me when it’s my turn,” it was a very emotional moment.

After the interview, we shot some broil of Donna working in the kitchen. We had some difficulty here as the Hospicare facility has many large windows and while during the day it is well-lit by the sun coming in through these windows, as the evening came we lost a lot of light and as we were not expecting it to darken so quickly we did not have time to set up a lighting kit. Still, the content of the shots were strong and we are hoping to be able to correct this in editing.

23 March: Adventures in B-Roll

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with Elaine at Hospicare. She volunteers at the administration desk, along with her loyal companion Willow, every Friday. We had already interviewed Elaine and learned about her path to becoming a volunteer at Hospicare, but we had yet to see her in the facility.

After a bit of bonding with her chocolate lab, who she brought into her family about 8 months after the passing of her husband, we started the filming. Our goal was to acquire footage of her at work, playing with Willow and going about her tasks in the bereavement group. Willow, was more than happy to pose for the camera and Elaine was happy to do whatever was needed to help get her story across.

The day was a success overall and we now have some great footage to overlay with our four current interviews. From here, we have a bit more to do, but everything is planned. We have 2 more interviews, which were scheduled for this past week but had to be rescheduled due to our source’s decision. Next week, we will be finishing up with the volunteer interviews. After that, all we have to do is pray the weather works to our advantage so that we can shoot B-roll of the outside of the facility, as well as the garden, sans snow.