This is a good example of a seemingly straightforward interview and a great performance. We used Richard's own facial expressions to "cover" the cuts we made in his dialogue. Different sized frames ( wide, medium and tight) during the interview, also allowed us to put his best answers together without jittery jump cuts or having to resort to shots of his hands and other cutaways.
LESSON: Get multiple frame sizes during your interviews, don't just put the camera on the tripod and roll. Get portraits of the interviewee during the interview and definitely after. Make sure to film "the in between moments" during an interview as they may help the scene visually as well as useful to cover jump cuts.
Justin Miller is a typical 9 year-old. He likes to build forts, have dance parties with his friends, go to Cub Scouts, eat pizza, and joke around with his older sister. But Justin is a little different. He has had Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer since he was 3 years-old, and has been involved with cutting edge experimental treatments ever since. The cancer has subsided and returned four times. He is blind in one eye from the pressure of the tumor. His only complaint is this interferes with his Lego skills.
Clips (in order)
-Fatima goes to Souk
-Ahmed visits the Palestinians
-Breeze of the Dying Voices
DISSIDENT: OSWALDO PAYÁ AND THE VARELA PROJECT was shot in August 2002 in Havana, Cuba. The film is a rare look at the life and challenges of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá and his groundbreaking Varela Project, the Cuban civic movement that calls for a national referendum on democratic reforms. Payá, who, along with his small group of activists, has been threatened, followed and harassed since the project picked up speed one year ago, has vowed to persist until the Cuban people are granted a referendum, which is guaranteed by the Cuban constitution.
The story of Payá and the Varela Project is told through an intimate interview with Mr. Payá, at his home in Havana, never-before-seen footage from his personal archives, vérité scenes with Payá and his activists as they plan for a massive petition drive and moving conversations with Cubans who dared to sign the petition.
The film was first shown in Payá's absence on September 30, 2002 to a group of 800 Latin American leaders and US Congresspeople in Washington, DC. It has also been shown on Capitol Hill and in front of the Spanish Parliament and the European Community. The film made its big screen debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and continues to show at human rights events around the world.
In April 2003 the Cuban government cracked down on the country's dissidents, resulting in the arrest and imprisonment of over 75 innocent people, including several of the people who appeared in this film. Payá, who remains under surveillance but out of jail, has vowed to continue to press for democratic reforms in Cuba.
The interview with the Superintendent (Glen) starts around 02:15. After meeting the principal and finding him wacky, I decided to put him in an old-fashioned, tongue-in-cheek center frame - - something we never normally do. It is reminiscent of 1950s educational videos and seemed fitting for this interview. We incorporated corny video "portraits" of him as cutaways that helped with the pacing. This scene always gets a laugh. It's the performance plus the framing that makes it so odd.