Video diaries and Chinese New Year

I chose to centre my video projects around Chinese New Year because it was an event occurring during the run of the class, and several of my friends within the exchange program are originally from Hong Kong and they offered to assist. When first discussing the idea with my friends I asked them what the most important part of Chinese New Year was for them, and they all said FOOD. I took that as my thesis and ran with it.

Interviewing my friends from Hong Kong proved to be somewhat challenging as one dropped out of the project due to on-camera shyness, and the other felt more comfortable being interviewed in Cantonese, her native tongue. I didn’t mind my friend, Peggy, responding in Cantonese, but it meant a longer time editing, as well as getting the original footage to her so she could assist with a translation. Even now, I believe some of the translations are not as direct as they could be; they are more round about explanations of the topic being discussed.

The only comment I have on how the overall video project could have been improved is if there had been better organization with the footage. I covered the topic through sit down interviews, cooking demos, vox pops and B-roll footage of Chinese New Year celebrations in London. When it came time to edit, I had too much footage and no idea had to organize it. I created storyboards and came up with a rough draft, but Reza suggested it was not captivating enough, so I started over. Thus, the reason I had to split the project into three segments was because there was little cohesion in the different footage I got, apart from everyone’s enjoyment of Chinese food!

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