To Think Differently - discuss

A warm welcome to all. Here we talk about films, which people put onto YouTube or Vimeo and embed here. The idea is to allow useful, friendly discussion.
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Jameela M Boardman
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To Think Differently - discuss

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

My film: 'To Think Differently' is of a different genre, but also did very badly at BIAFF. -- From the Judge's comments I realised they did not understand what the Antagonist is, so all else fails! ...But it is very thoughtful and deep.
53 minutes long.

It is the true story of my journey of discovery: science, spiritual and gender. Basically it is me speaking to the camera about what happened, but done in an entertaining way as possible given the limitations. Since it is so personal, I have not shared it on YouTube or Vimeo, rather it is on my own website where I can frame it how I want.
https://www.northspirit.org/digitalmedia.html

You should be able to stream it directly, but if not, you can download the MP4 file.

It was intended for an audience who already ponders these issues, and is therefore probably too heavy for many, though the two-minute trailer is more suitable for general viewing.

Jameela
ned c
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by ned c »

Thanks Jameela; I successfully streamed your film.

Technically well done; particularly as I suspect most of it is self shot/recorded. Good image quality and very good sound.

For me the problem with the film is that you have intertwined two parts of your life journey that would be much more easily understood presented separately. Part one is your gender journey, I do realise that this is very personal territory but it is also an opportunity for you to share the experience and make it possible for us to much better understand and integrate transgender people into our lives. There was a brief glimpse of the difficulties you experienced with the Muslim women's group, but what other reactions did you have to cope with? I wanted to ask questions about your family and friends reactions; how did they handle this change? How did you find new friends and connections? OK; this may be asking too much.

The second film is the philosophical journey; I do realise that it is related to your physical journey but more easily followed as a separate film. I found some of the devices tedious and unproductive; the US dollar bill and the voice of "god". Although I have difficulty with much of the evidence you provided (two tides are well understood by science) you presented it well and I would have liked a more definite outline of how you have integrated these into your personal philosophy. Shortening some scenes would have made this easier viewing.

This film is a bold personal statement full of controversial views and comments which I admire although not agreeing with many them. If you wish it to stand as a single film then stronger editing particularly of those shots that do not move the film forward; e.g. road driving, pans across landscapes, book covers. But it takes a strong person to let it all "hang out" like this for public viewing; well done.
ned c
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

Thanks for those comments, much appreciated.

Yes it was all self-filmed. The seemingly redundant scenes, like road journeys, pauses and nature pans, are actually intended to give time for the content to be absorbed. The music score is only 40 beats per minute which is very slow, and my speach is slow, but this is all deliberate... In 53 minutes a tremendous amount of thought is presented, so without the breathing spaces it would not work at all. -- It is already very heavy.

With this presentation, I have tried to show a glimpse of the interconnectivity of everything if a gender balanced view is taken, so the personal struggle with gender and the philosophy journey were very entwined.

Yes the rejections hurt very bad, but the positives have been even greater!

Thanks again for your comments.

Jameela
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TimStannard
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by TimStannard »

Whilst I agree with much of what Ned says, I can see why you would combine your gender reassignment journey with your spiritual one in the context of the film.

I have attempted to watch the film twice before. Previously I'd only made it to a little over half way so this time I was rather delighted to see the "acting" shot and the railway shot as they provided some relief from what had felt like more and more of the same.
Not just more of the same material, but more of the same in presentation.

Don't get me wrong - your presentation is fine in that it is clear and sincere. You are presenting what some might see as difficult concepts and so it is perhaps sensible that you present them in a calm and steady manner, rather than waving your arms about like Magnus Pike and giving the impression you are slightly mad.

You present a series of ideas, all pretty similar, which you claim are all part of the same "thing" although I struggle to understand what this thing is. But as it is all rather samey, it begins to drag. I think you recognise this as a potential pitfal and you admirably introduce numerous different settings in which you speak. But, for me, what it really needs is some different voices - interviews or conversations with others whom you mention (I appreciate this is not necessarily practical - I'm suggesting what it needs - not whether it was possible).

As a film explaining your own journey and beliefs, it's fine. If it is intended to persuade anyone not already of your views, it is weak - primarily because you never present anything which counters your views. You present the established view then your alternative view and that's it. You need to present the arguments against your views and then demolish those arguments. But, of course, if you're preaching to (or reassuring) the converted, this is not necessary.

I wouldn't mind betting that making this film helped you consolidate your beliefs and I hope it somehow helped you on a journey to inner peace.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

Thanks Tim,

Yes it was cathartic getting this out, I have made previous presentations, but this one surpassed them all so the others have been deleted... I found there is just too much to say, the talks would go on for hours and hours.

In the original plan, much of the centre part was arranged to be an interview by a friend using three cameras, but in the event it didn't happen. So it was replaced by the monologue of me sat on the rocking chair in front of the bookcase. That was a big blow to the entertainment value of the film.

Have you watched the two minute trailer? it was meant to give a clue to the variety of scenes to come.

Thanks for your feedback.
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TimStannard
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by TimStannard »

Jameela M Boardman wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:33 pm Have you watched the two minute trailer? it was meant to give a clue to the variety of scenes to come.
The trailer is a gamble. Personally i like the unfinished statements/unanswered questions, it captures my interest but I can see how it might frustrate others. It also gives an indication of the vast amount of "stuff" covered in the feature.

This leads me to wonder whether the main feature might be better presented as a series of 3-6 minute films, each concentrating on a specific item or related group of items. I can see each beginning "Last time we discussed how <blah blah blah> this time we take that further" (or "this time we explore the <different type of item>". I think big concepts often work better in bite size chunks. It means you don't have to leave lengthy spaces for idea to sink in (everyone's absorption time is different) and it's much easier for the viewer to recap individual topics, if they need to.

Indeed the film is already edited in a fairly "episodic" manner so it wuldn't be difficult to do this, if you so desired.

Your intro (and possibly outro) to each episode could begin the same (thus tying each idea together) before launching into the specific item.

I appreciate it might well be difficult for you to achieve this as I imagine everything as intertwined, but it's just another way of presenting things. I'm much more likely to watch a 5 minute film form a series from someone I don't know than commit to an hour. Once I've committed to 5 minutes, I might as well watch another and befor I know it i might have watched two hours worth.
Tim
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Jameela M Boardman
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Re: To Think Differently

Post by Jameela M Boardman »

The trailer is a gamble. Personally i like the unfinished statements/unanswered questions, it captures my interest
Yes and doing it this way is like a filter, because only 'curious' sort of people would be interested in the film anyway. So chopping a sentence just before it makes its point is like a teaser.

I'm much more likely to watch a 5 minute film form a series from someone I don't know than commit to an hour.
This is a good point, thank you.
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