To get started, compose a short blog entry giving a reaction to the Truffant quote above, an update of your progress, and a freeze frame from your film. If you haven’t learned how to grab a frame easily in Premiere Pro, HERE is a good overview. PS…freeze frames can be a super useful visual component in your reflection text or promotion/branding material. In other words, refer to a freeze frame from the film when reflecting on a certain portion of the production. (Say that three times fast!)
As promised, today will be a workday. Work on your projects, ask questions. Before you leave, hand in your Response #3 (or make sure it is emailed to me).
If you need some music for your film (or just like cool websites) check LOOPTRACKS. It strikes me that the legal status/ownership of the composition a user might create in a site like this is very questionable. However, using this music (that you create after messing around with this site and recording it somehow) will almost certainly be MORE legal than using Jay-Z.
A note on music. I’ve noticed a lot of copyrighted music in your drafts. To reiterate: it’s OK (every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief) and (probably) legal under Fair Use statutes for this assignment. Having said that, the stipulation I placed on using copyrighted material is that you attempt to get permission. Write an email at least and include the attempt in your reflection. In professional media organizations, there are whole departments dedicated to attaining copyright permission and avoiding legal issues. As in other parts of your production, I’m not expecting you to do the work of a whole department, but you need to consider it (and then demonstrate to me that you have considered it). The easiest way to get around this issue is to use open source material. Mine the local music scene. Pappa Jazz is a good source of local stuff. There are also many online sources of free music. The biggest is ARCHIVE.ORG. It takes time to wade through the myriad (and of questionable quality) tracks that are available, but you should be able to find something. If a copyrighted song is key to your film, figure out the publisher and write them a letter. You’ll sometimes be surprised at how easy it is to get permission.
Here is my letter to the Charles Mingus foundation to ask for permission (feel free to use this as a template).
My name is Brian Harmon and I am a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition at The University of South Carolina. I took part in a class this semester called The Trial of Othello…an interdisciplinary experiment in how to teach literature differently. Our class teamed with an acting class and the law school to conduct a mock trial of Othello. We, of course read the text carefully and combined our reading with critical theory. Part of the class was responsible for recording and archiving the trial and we would like to use a Mingus piece for the project. I hope it goes without saying that this is not a money making venture, rather a pedagogical exercise. We are considering both Track A (Solo Dancer) and Track C (Group Dancers) from “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady”. As this is a school project, we are confident that this is clearly ‘Fair Use’ but, we are hoping to underscore the importance of copyright awareness by approaching The Jazz Workshop for official permission. Is there a standard form you use to license the Mingus catalog? If you have any questions, or if you would like to see a draft of what we have in mind, please let me know. Thanks so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Here is Sue Mingus’ (Charles’ widow and executor of the foundation) response (3 hours later):
Sounds interesting….go right ahead!