My first reaction to the video about John Baledessari was one of annoyance. The narrator spoke quickly, and did not do much in terms of speaking for the ear. I thought the pops of color were distracting, the long streams of words across the screen were hard to follow, and the cutting, panning and tilting of the camera made for what I thought was a bad documentary. But, oddly enough, after it was over I wanted to watch it again.
I had to step back and think for a second, what was it about this documentary that made me eager to watch it again? and how could I incorporate some of their ideas into my own documentary to make my audience eager to watch my documentary again?
It seemed that the average life of John, and the things he does, and the everyday items he owns were very intriguing because of the approach they had to filming them.
I liked his approach to art, and the second time through I started to understand why his documentary was put together the way it was.
I think there are some interesting lessons to take away from this. A documentary can be about whatever you want it to be about, as ordinary or extraordinary as you want.
The exciting “I want to watch this again” factor happens with the way you piece these elements together… Keep the viewer guessing. I started to like how they jumped around, and showed clips of this and clips of that… little snippets into Johns life. I liked how they incorporated interviews, not long drawn out clips, but just enough to get an understanding of who John is, and what he’s about. They also selected topics that didn’t necessarily need a whole lot of elaborating. Like the part he was talking about how he burned all of his art and put it into urns, I thought that was funny, but they didn’t necessarily need to say more about it.
I really liked the placement of the art, and the close-ups to help emphasize the story…
It was definitely better the second time around.