Don’t trash damaged photos, film, or data. Shelve it. You never know when it can become useful again.
“The Seraphim Center” rests locally, but sets foot in other realms. At least, to me, that’s how it felt. The fact that I attended during a special psychics’ convention only added to the mystique. The following includes some notes on production, post production, and finding sponsorship for the live event.
Almost three years prior, I’d just discovered anthropology and wanted to produce my first ethnographic film. We approached “The Seraphim Center,” and they agreed to let us film. Our inexperience probably showed. I assembled an unnecessarily large and obtrusive crew. Part way through production, a cameraman resigned to, er, go “chase the magic dragon.” We held our vastly outdated equipment together with duct tape, and recorded on recycled cassettes. Unsurprisingly, the footage became damaged, got placed on the shelf, and forgotten.
Years passed, and I spent that time polishing my professional game. Eventually, I established a working relationship with UF’s Office of Multicultural & Diversity Affairs (MCDA.) A few months later, I rediscovered the old footage, and realized that I had learned the skills necessary to repair it. A week later, I’d restored several “masked interviews.”  Although I’m unsatisfied with the film’s heavy reliance on “talking head” shots , I think it’s pretty okay given what I had to work with. It would’ve been nice to key in some illustrations, but I found myself constrained by time. Hopefully, the bright transitions, musical score, and unique content will keep the viewer engaged. Furthermore, some of you might notice how I readded in some “damage.” I couldn’t fix every instance of film damage so, instead of trying to ignore it, I embraced it as an aesthetic and purposely added some back in.
Leveraging my university contacts, I arranged a live film screening and guided discussion. Offering them the value proposition of exposure to the UF student body, The Seraphim Center and MCDA agreed to co-sponsor the event. Like so many of my ventures, you can do it to! Just add three parts business savvy, and one part filmmaking and social science skills.
What are your thoughts on spiritual diversity, ethereal beings, and psychics? Any criticisms or compliments about My film? Of course, any other comments are welcome, too! Oh, and also, I PUT A LOT OF THOUGHT INTO THESE POSTS, AND I SURE DO LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE COMMENTS. EVEN SHORT, STUPID ONES. SO BE AWESOME AND SAY SOMETHING. NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED, YAY FREE SPEECH!
[some of our audience]
[yours truly, hosting the film screening and guided discussion]
 “Masked interviews” exclude the interviewer’s prompts, and present the interviewee’s responses by themselves. Be advised that masked interview introduces room for biased prompts. However, it also creates easier-to-grasp soundbites for the viewership.
 “Talking head” shots feature extended close-ups on a speaker’s head. They’re useful for capturing nuanced facial expressions, but can become quite dull.