This week has been particularly busy for the PATH project group. We are making a visual story to represent a futuristic progression to Universal Healthcare. Our film begins in a clinic in 2035, moving backwards in time with progressively younger people representing our main actress throughout stages of her life.
In the past few days, we finally began filming. We shot the entire clinic scene on Saturday. We moved our actress through the door, into the waiting room, and finally, to her interactions with a doctor. We had the world’s cutest actor, a young boy with the biggest smile and an amazing patience for our many, many shots. We discovered the perfect hallway, patient room, and “Primary Health” sign, all of which greatly enhanced our work.
Today, we were able to shoot the scenes featuring our “Kiddo” actress. The sweet girl we filmed smiled from ear to ear, asked Lucy about every element of our actions, and ran up and down the road countless times. The people we have met and shots we have been able to execute (shout out to Wanjiku and Megan on the gimbal!) have made our time all the more fun and exciting.
However, our experiences were by no means flawless. In fact, we have encountered many, many, “hiccups.” On day one, the actor we anticipated to be around the age of five (to hide below our actress’s waist) sauntered into the clinic at the same exact height as his “mother.” Our main actress ended up wearing my shirt for the day, our “Primary Health” sign fell down more times than I can count, and we could barely get one of our actresses to smile. On day two, we settled on a location literally hours before our shoot, a key actress didn’t show up, and a car parked in front of the exact spot we decided to film in.
Needless to say, these days were by no means stress free. Some “hiccups” were preventable, some less so. However, as a result, the PATH group has come to appreciate our own project and movie making so much more. We have spoken many times about how technical and difficult the process is. When watching Dirty Dancing, a movie which has now been out for 32 years, Jasmine, Lucy, and I literally shouted about the camera’s focus on the dancing feet in a particular scene.
Throughout this time I have become more and more excited to see our final product. I am immensely proud of my team’s efforts to find actors, a clinic, and scenery. I hope the impact of our countless conference calls, emails, and renditions of our storyboard will be present in our three-minute film.
But even more, I am incredibly grateful for these unexpected experiences. Honestly, I was much more interested in the Global Health aspect of this class than the Visual Literacy. I had enjoyed the Public Health classes I took at Yale, and hoped that this class would better inform my interest. I thought of the film element as more of a bonus, an opportunity to learn something completely new. There is a very small chance I would have ever taken a film class otherwise.
Now, I better understand how impactful this element of the class has been. I am grateful for the PATH group’s successes and difficulties, because I know I will value our final product and every other movie I watch that much more. I know that from now on I will think of the camera angle, focus, and color temperature when watching a film, realizing just how important each element is. Regardless, I am very grateful for this new perspective and appreciation.
Photos courtesy of Paul Blom.