Friday, November 16, 2007

Lim + Lam Documentary by Ryan Mc

Lin + Lam are the directors of an artistic documentary that depicts the impact of modernization on the world through the modes of transportation in various cities, called “Departure.” The documentary is filmed in several different modes of transportations, and is filmed in three different cities: Taipei, Shanghai, and Hanoi. Along with the visual movement through all of the areas seen in the film, there are also several woman narrators, whom each speak a different language, which tell stories and facts about the various places they are put in. The entire documentary is made for the viewer to experience these cities through the trains, cars and bicycles that are used by the everyday person in these eastern cities.

The film starts with the departure of a train and traveling through Taipei and the suburbs surrounding it. The camera is positioned at an angle so that you can see the entire view from one side of the camera. While the train is moving casually from station to station, the narrators tell stories of political issues within the country or give a brief story or purpose about the train and its purpose. Each story is told three times, but in different languages. One of the stories gave facts about the history of the train and the importance the train system had had in times of political crisis.

The next segment of the film is shown in Shanghai in the passenger seat of an automobile. The car starts off in the center of Shanghai’s metropolitan area, and gives an amazing view of the large yet beautiful architecture of the cities surroundings. The same narrators discuss various issues of political turmoil, while half way through the segment a taxi cab mistakenly hit the car the camera was traveling in.

The final destination in the documentary is Hanoi. This time, the camera is placed on the end of a small trailer carried by a bicycle across the long narrow bridge through Hanoi. The mood of the city is very gloomy with overcast weather and old pieces of architecture that are seen on the bridge. The narrators tell stories of fighting and war that have plagued the city since the French occupation. The camera faces off the side of a long bridge which looks out into the city, and then into the river bank. The segment ends with the bike finally reaching the other side where it is nothing but farm and forest.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lin and Lam blog (Roch Lozano's part)

-Roch L.

Video filmmakers, Lin and Lam, are an artist team that explores diverse issues, such as immigration, and transcends different venues, states and countries. Lin and Lam conducted a post discussion to their film “Departure” and gave the audience insight on how they shot their film, what angles they approached and how they were inspired to create such a film. The film was shot in three cities, Taipei, (train) Shanghai and Hanoi. “Departure” conveyed colonialism and a transportation aspect that acted as a metaphor. It was interesting to find out how they filmed in these different parts of Asia and how they maneuvered through traffic and the hustle and bustle of every day life with the importance of not getting in the way of daily activity. “Space is premium,” was said according to Lin and Lam. The bridge that they filmed on was described to be narrow, and Lin and Lam were actually approached by officers on why and what they were filming. Lin and Lam loved the diversity and urban landscape of the places they chose. Movement and time were two important themes addressed in their film, in which movement was redundant and it had no direction. This also tied in with the fact that Asia is very mobile and modern through urbanization and movement for change. Asia is continuing to be developed and has a notion of progress. The colonial progress implies a metaphor for movement of continual progress in which you may not know where you are going. The filmmakers also mention in conjunction to that theory that through movement, you don’t know what it may bring and what it will leave behind. When shots in the film are frozen, and even in life, progress has stopped.
When audience members had the opportunity to ask questions, one question posed was about the chosen title of the film and how it came about. Lin and Lam said that they got the title of their movie through the process of their research, filming and editing. Amazingly, “Departure” was their main title that came to an easy consensus.
Another audience member brought up the point that there could be a feminist aspect to the film, as it was pointed out that a female voice was used to narrate the film instead of a man’s voice.
It was evident that a lot of work and filming was put into this movie, as Lin and Lam shot 30-40 hours of footage in Asia, mostly set in Taiwan. Choosing their project and process was mainly through the inspiration of colonial architecture and impact, and they initially started off with Taiwan. Transportation and progress were definite key themes in their process and Taiwan boasted its people’s love for the train that was built by the Chinese and Japanese. Lin and Lam said that most of the research done was an organic research process. They wanted to explore the new city and also explored the process of ethnography, which according to, is a branch of anthropology dealing with the scientific description of individual cultures. Shanghai, on the other hand, had a different occupational power, but was still consistent in the state of development through transportation and time, just like the other countries discussed. This implies that in Asia, there is “always” something unfinished, especially around construction/rebuilding. Finally, the installation of their film contributed to a social and critical interaction with space.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

USF Alumni Journalism Panel

It’s a small world after all; at least when it comes to the field of media and journalism.
USF alumni Jennifer Jolley exemplified this when she and seven other alumni came to speak and share their experiences with appreciative students.
Jolley, the senior member of the group, did not seem surprised when she knew the names of the younger journalists’ mentors.
This seemed to be the emphasis of the entire panel: networking and experience.
The panel as a whole seemed to agree that the most important thing for any of the young journalism students was to get an internship.
Vicky Nguyen, correspondent for NBC11, simply said to the students three consecutive times “get an internship.”
Tuon Lam, who knows something about internships completing five during his time at USF, said students should learn everything they can and getting an internship is the best way to do it.
He also said that at the very least, if you get an internship you can figure out what you do and don’t want to do.
Kent German, CNET cell phone editor, told students “definitely do what you want.” He said students have time during college that is beneficial for doing just that.
The panelists all said that as a journalist, unless you enjoy what you are doing there is no way you can live being a journalist.
The audience, which consisted of mostly students, and numbered to about 60 total, was allowed to ask questions of the panel after they all said what they believed was important in the career of journalism.
The panel was asked bluntly to state how much money they make by Foghorn stringer and journalism student Elyse Martin.
Although they seemed a bit taken aback, a couple said they were expecting it, and said that this is not a business you get into if you are looking for money.
Tiffany Maleshefski, a technical writer and contributor to among other things, told a story saying the moral was that you live and work for the experience, not for the money.
At the end of the discussion, sure enough, one could see the panelists exchanging contact information; networking is a job that never stops, and as long as journalists network with each other, the world will just keep getting smaller.

From Chris Begley's blog here.

(A different account from Nick Minnott next.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

USF Journalism Panel

USF Media Studies Alums Stress the Importance of Self

For some of the alumni of the University of San Francisco Media Studies department, breaking into the journalism world has been a struggle. A number of these alums were back at USF on October 16th to talk about their experiences for the first annual Journalism Alumni Panel.

Toan Lam, a broadcast journalist who is currently working for KRON, stressed the important of building yourself when preparing to enter the journalism field. When asked if he thought that students were compromised by the lack of a journalism major at USF, Lam disagreed. Rather he said that USF is a good school for learning the theories of journalism and the lack of a structured major challengers the student to be more independent.

Lam, who originally wanted to be in print journalism rather than broadcast, had five internships during the four years he spent at USF. When the opportunity to work for the broadcast side appeared, Lam was well prepared from his time at USF.

Panel members and also USF alumni included: Vicky Nguyen, another broadcast journalist from Channel 11 (NBC), Myra Sandova who is a copywriter for the Gap, Tiffany Maleshefsky, a technical writer for eWeek, and Kent German, a cell-phone reviewer from CNET, among others.
The audience included undergraduates in the Media Studies department, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the struggles that some of panelists had experienced on their road to success. There were also several faculty members and alumni in attendance.

From Nicholas Minnott at The Rainy Day Blog.