Author Topic: Idea for a Doc about the riot police  (Read 2659 times)

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Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« on: October 26, 2004, 02:30:55 PM »
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I'm starting pre-production on a documentary about the riot police in the greater montreal area. I'm handing it in as a project for school. Its supposed to be between 8 and 12 minutes and should more portrait based, meaning that I need to find someone interesting to make the doc about. So, as it stands, I'm in contact with a police school in quebec where most of the training for the riot police takes place. I'm not sure if they'll allow me to shoot yet, but a rep is currently working on finding out for me. If all goes well, I hope to concentrate the piece on the physical and mental training officers go through in order to become active members of the riot police. I also hope to make it a little more personal by having interviews with different cops that have been in riots and have them talk about their experiences and what it was like. I hope to steer away from a talking head type doc, if at all possible, cause those are boring. As far as the portrait thing, I'm still not sure how I'm going to pull that off. Ideally, I would like to follow a trainee for like a month as he goes through the training, but I doubt if I'd be allowed to do that, or find someone who'd be willing while they're trying to pass the courses. My current idea is that I could base it on one of the instructors. I figure if I find someone charismatic and interesting enough, it would be perfect. He or she would obviously know a lot about riot control and no doubt have experience in the field as well.

These are the basic ideas I'm playing with at the moment. I definetely want to concentrate a lot of it on the training. The school teaches 95% practical stuff, so that's not a problem, assuming I'm allowed to shoot. Does anybody have any other ideas of what I could concentrate on? Is there anything else an audience might want to see?
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Jeremy Blackman

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2004, 04:47:48 PM »
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Try to find a protestor who has had experience with the riot police.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2004, 11:32:46 PM »
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Hmm, that would be cool and more journalistic. I'll give it a shot, but at the same time, I have to be careful. If the police feel that this might burn them in the end, they probly just won't let me shoot at their school.
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Jeremy Blackman

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2004, 12:42:11 AM »
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Or they might come to your house and spray you with a fire hose.

That's why you have to get the dissenting footage after the police footage. But don't ever count on making a sequel.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2004, 04:08:30 PM »
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Ok, so I've officially gotten permision to shoot at the police school (which amazes even me, but whatever). However, the girl I spoke to seemed  to be trying to talk me out of it. She says that the training they do there is very basic (limited to formation marching, peper spraying, etc.) and is intended for cops entering the work force. If I want something more advanced, I have to go through the actual Montreal police. Now, I need to decide if I want to try and expand or count my blessings I'll be able to get what I get and try to make it interesting enough to last from 8 to 12 minutes.

The little problem I'm having is the police school will arrange to get the releases for all the people in the classes. So, I'm guessing they're doing this for legal purposes and I'm going to be limited by it. I can;t really make it an investigation at all. It has to make them look good no matter what kind of footage I get or I'll be liable. Damn the politics!!!
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2004, 04:43:30 PM »
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So I went to shoot at the police school. We got some good b-roll, but, as far as solid interview stuff we can use, not so good. Granted, at this point, I have a much better lead for the more character driven part of this doc. The Surete du Quebec police will be allowing us to come in and shoot some of their more advanced training sessions and talk to their instructors. hopefully, that will develop into something better.

At this point, however, my team and I are seriously considering changing the direction a bit. Rather then make it about the riot police, we're thinking it will be about riots in general by going back and forth between police training for riots and protester training for protests. We'd have an instructor as sort of our guide to the police side, and a protestor organizer as the guide to the protester side. What do you guys think?
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Jeremy Blackman

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2004, 10:41:33 PM »
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Quote from: Recce
At this point, however, my team and I are seriously considering changing the direction a bit. Rather then make it about the riot police, we're thinking it will be about riots in general by going back and forth between police training for riots and protester training for protests. We'd have an instructor as sort of our guide to the police side, and a protestor organizer as the guide to the protester side. What do you guys think?

I really really like that. On both sides, try to ask really surprising questions (maybe at the end of the interviews) that will catch them off guard and force them to give candid responses. Wouldn't that be wonderful footage?

Can you get the releases before they see your film? They're not going to have to approve your final cut, are they? How does that work?
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2004, 05:34:41 PM »
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Well, that's where things get a bit complicated. As it stands, the releases I have from the police school and likely from the SQ states that I can use the footage so long as it is used for school related stuff, so no broadcast on television. The PR person at the school neglected to mention that fact until I arrived at the location to shoot the day of. I explained that, while there were no prospects for broadcast at the time, I would definitely try if it turns out good. She said that, if it could be broadcast, we could discuss changing the releases and she seemed open to the idea, but she's obviously protecting her ass by giving us limited releases. This is a point of serious concern that I've sort of been ignoring for the moment while I just try to finish the project. As far as the protesters, while I don't have a lead yet, it shouldn't be too much of a problem (I do live in Montreal, which is like the protester capital of the world practically) and I don't think releases will be a big issue. On a plus side, she did say that, if I submitted this to a festival, for example, it does qualify as school related. So, basically, I think that its a way for them to get final approval of the piece if ever I wanted to do something real with it. Damn, now that it's all written down, it seems a lot worse. Thanks a lot for pouring salt in the wound while twisting the knife. Anybody have any suggestions?
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2004, 09:56:19 PM »
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Dammit, I have a teaser that I'd like to post, but have nowhere to put it. Anybody know where I could upload a 30 sec., 3.4mb mp4? Without paying?
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2004, 10:04:02 PM »
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Does Xixax not offer to host them anymore?
"As a matter of fact I only work with the feeling of something magical, something seemingly significant. And to keep it magical I don't want to know the story involved, I just want the hypnotic effect of it somehow seeming significant without knowing why." - Len Lye

ono

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2004, 10:09:02 PM »
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Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2005, 09:07:54 AM »
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Ok, so we most likely have a protester to work with us. Its actually really cool if it works out. He's apparently a pretty big player in certain collectives and is one of the main organizers of civil disobedience courses. So they organize events where they can show other protesters how to make a speech and get a crowd going, etc. So we're going to make a little personal portrait of him and what he does and why, and intercut with the police and their instructor on what he or she does. Now if the police can just speed things up a bit and get us in too shoot, I can relax a little bit.
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2005, 12:26:02 AM »
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Well, the police finally got back to me and had us over to shoot. I was all excited cause I thought it would turn out really good, but it was pretty boring. They were just doing basic drill formations and stuff with the helmets and batons. The instructor was pretty boring during the interview settings as well, so I was a bit concerned. Fortunately, my DOP and I came up with an idea that makes it all entertaining. We're making it about us making the doc and running into all the problems we've run into.  Obviously, this is the ultimate cop out, when things don't work out you make it about yourself to spice it up a little bit, but its actually starting to look pretty good and funny with this new direction. The protester we got was pretty boring during the interview segment we got, but we will be going to a protest with him on february 11th, so hoepfully we'll get some good sutff there that we'll be able to work with too.
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Recce

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2005, 10:20:27 PM »
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Well, no one is really reading this I'm sure, but it makes me feel good to have updates, so I'm doing it anyway. We have rapped shooting (I'm pretty sure, unless I come up with a great idea for something) so I'm in post. I've presented three different rough cuts to my class over the last few weeks and they really liked the last one. I think the making it about us making the doc is working out well. It allows us be playful with the editing. Unfortunately, we have nothing important to say in it, but it makes for an entertaining 12 minutes. I'll be in post for another couple of weeks and will be posting it on a website when its done if anyone is at all interested, which I doubt, but whatever.
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Cecil

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Idea for a Doc about the riot police
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2005, 03:59:40 PM »
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youre wasting space. we have more important things to talk about, like me

 

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