09 January 2008

The Self-Inventory and back to the Uffizi!

I would like to call this day the beginning of introspection for everyone...including myself.

After finally getting everyone logged onto the BLOG, we spent a great deal of the afternoon discussing and recognizing what exactly it means to have an artistic identity. Some major points that were covered included:

What kind of subjects should you cover as a filmmaker?
What are you most interested to learn about?
Do you have an artistic identity and can you articulate it?

After a small "quiz" that tested self-knowledge and how active and intrusive one is able to feel in his/her surroundings, the project of the day was given, that of digging inside to understand and possibly discover issues and themes that have left marks on the individual students. I am placing the project online in case the students, or anyone else for that matter, would like to review it.

1. Make an honest, non-judgmental inventory of your most moving experiences. This will assist you in assessing your underlying issues and what topics are important to you.

2. Go somewhere private and write rapid, short notations of major experiences in which you were deeply moved (anger, joy, love, etc.). Do not stop until you have at least 10 different experiences.

3. Organize them into 2 - 3 groups and name them. Define relationships between them, if any.

4. Do not self-censor between “good” or “bad” truth.

5. Look at what you’ve written objectively as if it were a fictional character’s back story. Look for trends, a vision of a world. Freely imagine this character’s world view.

6. Do not psychoanalyze yourself.

7. The goal: To create a temporary authorial role that you can play with. As a role, you can change it, evolve it, and improve it as you go!

The afternoon continued with a review of the other archetypes, apart from The Hero, found in The Writer's Journey including:

The Mentor

The Threshold Guardian

The Herald

The Shapeshifter

The Shadow

The Ally

The Trickster

After discussing their relevance, their assignment was to go back to the Uffizi and find personal representations of such archetypes as they did yesterday with The Hero.


Based on today’s self-inventory, non-judgmental examination of key points in your life and your most moving experiences, write notes that, without disclosing anything too private, will enable you to describe objectively and aloud to the class:

1. The main marks your life has left on you during formative experiences. Keep your description of the experiences to a minimum and concentrate on their effects, not their causes.

2. Two or three themes that emerge from the marks you carry.

3. Several different characters for which you feel unusual empathy. These can be people you know, types of people, or people who exist and whom you could contact.

4. Two or three provisional/working film topics. Make them different but all focused on your central concerns. Displacing concerns into other areas of life avoids autobiography and lets you explore new worlds with authority. Choose worlds that reflect concerns to which you are already committed.


A pitch, or oral presentation, is common when you want to express your idea for a film project in order to raise funds or involve commissions.

- Prepare your ideas so that you can make a 4-minute pitch of a documentary idea to the class for Friday.

- Your words should be colorful and your enthusiasm should convey a clear, almost pictorial, sense of what the film will be like and why it should be made. Rehearse in front of a mirror!

- Your pitch should include:

1. An outline of the background of the topic, characters (and what makes them special), the problem(s) that put(s) them under pressure, and a general style of how you want it to be covered.

2. Description of any changes or growth you expect during the filming.

3. Statement of why it’s important to make this film and why you are motivated to make it.

(*The Self-Inventory Project andThe Pitch are based on Directing The Documentary by Michael Rabiger).

1 comment:

Nannette said...

I just want to comment on what a great lesson Jason taught today! It was very interactive and with good discussions. I can't wait to see what's in store tomorrow.