Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rachel's Favorite Videoblogs

Photographer/Filmmaker Daniel Liss keeps a videoblog at

Some of my favorite videos are:


In this short clip, Daniel structures the piece with a personal voice over. The content is very emotional (death, AIDS, and the way people interact with each other) and he chooses a very definite stylistic construction. He uses seemingly simple visual elements to tell this story - shots and sounds of the rains. He uses extreme close-ups of water droplets hitting the windowsill in a sad dance, the sound of the rain droplets, emotion evoking music, and color that seems painted on the frame (using soft focus). He holds each shot for a time, seemingly slow, but the pacing perfectly matched to the eloquence of the piece. He thought about leaving flowers but didn't, instead, he leaves this post.

Theory/Practice - an entry about the theory and practice of this videoblogger's craft.

His visual style is moving. He opens with the fog resting on the outside of a building. He uses music to get us from cut to cut. He tells the narrative (taking his sleeping baby to the botanical gardens), but says "I don't point the camera and explain...". Instead, he shows us visually (he calls it "tangentially").

He varies the framing - revealing both the landscape and the details of his world. He makes a simple shot - of a pencil scratching notes on paper - so beautiful. He explains his vlog stylistically: I add music, I play with the image. Does this stop being a vlog? This is my world - this is how I see it, how I think it - I vlog it for you...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

video examples

Here are three from PBS Independent Lens site I liked:

C. Beck


The McCrombie Way

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lots of links [random samples of Rachel's work]:


- Sample Reel of MOSTLY RAP/HIP-HOP

- Video projection (shown here with "scratch" track) of TRACKS with Tish Jones [for show at the Walker]

- Video projection (shown here with "scratch" track) of PINK LADIES with Moira Pirsch[for show at the Walker]

- Digital story (trailer for funding a larger doc) of breaking the cycle: the Story of Steven Glaze

- Experimental digital shorts [blog series]: ghostbox #1: killer cancer cells

- Short doc of IF I COULD HEAR MY MOTHER PRAY: a performance ethnography of Black motherhood

- Excerpt of (non-distributed version of) ESTILO HIP HOP

- Excerpt of STILLWATER POETRY [imprisoned intellectuals] documentary (work-in-progress)

- Excerpt of NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME [about women in hip-hop]

- Excerpt of FREESTYLE: THE ART OF RHYME [role: videographer/co-editor]

- Promotional short for event I co-founded B-GIRL BE: A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN IN HIP-HOP

- Video projection (looping reel) for B-Girl Be: A B-Girl Is...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Welcome to the Course! [Rachel's Intro for Fall 2008]

PLEASE NOTE: The older posts on this blog are from previous students. I used to delete all of the entries to start "fresh" for a new class but i've decided to leave them up as an archive (and it shows us more great shorts that other students have found).

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Welcome to the course blog for the Fall 2008 section of "Introduction to Video Production - Learning the Techniques", offered through IFP MN.

About the Instructor:

Rachel Raimist
my blog
my website

My bio (it's weird to talk about yourself in third person):

Rachel Raimist is a filmmaker, educator, community organizer and mother. She is most known for her documentary, Nobody Knows My Name, about women in hip-hop, and as co-founder of B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop at Intermedia Arts. She is the videographer/co-editor of the award-winning film Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, which aired on VH1, and has produced, directed and edited music videos, documentaries, performance pieces and narrative videos. Her work has screened at South by Southwest, Slamdance, Women in the Director’s Chair and numerous international venues. She is the co-editor of Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology, has written and photographed for The Source, URB, Complex, Remix, and The Amsterdam News, and is a board member of the Hip Hop Film Festival. Rachel received a BA and an MFA in Film Directing from the UCLA School of Film and Television. She has taught video production at the University of California, Irvine and Los Angeles, women of color feminisms at Macalester College, and feminist theory, feminist film studies, and rap poetry at the University of Minnesota. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota, and editing a documentary about prison poets.

Here are what my other students are working on:

Digital Storytelling in and with Communities of Color at the U

Race/Class/Sex in US Feminisms at Mac

Tuesday, April 29, 2008