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Unheralded Production: Bangladesh Day 1

We were up early today to meet with our main “character.” He is our primary subject but also the one in charge of the work we’re filming here in Dhaka. We got a rough schedule hammered out which is exciting. It looks like it’s going to be a full week. Then we jumped in the van to hit the city, and get some shots and an interview.

Our Bangladeshi production unit is run by a guy named Jehangir. Also as one of our subjects, having his direction and native mannerisms added a lot to the day and the filming. He got us into a few places we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. We went from the slums to the posh, from the Hindi to the Muslim, from the ground to the air. It was quite a day. Both Ian and I are excited about the direction this week is going to take and we’re confident the story will be captured in full.

We got about 3 hours of footage today and over 400 still photos thanks to my wife who’s doubling as Assistant Producer and photographer. The Zoom H4N is simply invaluable for location SFX. I have it mounted on the top of my camera for ambient audio and hit record when the time suits (usually during b-roll capture). We’re currently, logging, transcoding and transcripting today’s footage in the hotel room.

Tomorrow we start at 9a for a mostly full day of interviews and working in a professional capacity with our friends, a local media company- Alpha Media here in Dhaka on workflow, technology and best practices.

I was recently asked about tape logging. Since I’m tapeless, the traditional “log and capture” doesn’t really apply so I’ll break down my current logging practice which tends to change each time I do it. I start by previewing all my .M2T  files from the camera in MPeg Streamclip. I create a text file (spreadsheet, doc, whatever) and assign the appropriate clips into “Tapes” in the document. These tapes are based on the name of the subject, type of b roll, location, etc. Once I have the clips from my CF card assigned to the right tape I want them in, I create folders based on those tapes. Then I transfer and transcode those clips to the appropriate folders.

I’ll go back through and add necessary metadata of the content to the clip afterwards (usually via Adobe Bridge), then I can use that data to find the right clips in Premiere. In this case, my Director likes to have transcripts of all the major interviews so he’s doing that himself. We can’t use a program to auto-tanscribe due to the broken english so he’s listening to them and taking notes in Scrivener. From these notes we’ll form the paper edit of the film and I’ll go back and start editing everything together based on this paper edit.

In the meantime, here are a few screen grabs from the day.

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©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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