Wednesday, 26 August 2009

What in the world would your first documentary explore?

I hate to admit it, but there has been far too little blogging going on here lately. That said, in between working on freelance projects, travelling and fighting the small yet persistent battles of everyday life, I've still managed to Twitter away uproariously with travellers and the travel community. Off the back of some of these twitterings, Sandwagon's blog is back.

On Monday, inspired by the BBC's Future of Food series, I tweeted the question, 'What would you make your first documentary about?

In episode 2 of Future of Food, George Alagiah hopped from Senegal to India, and Kenya to Kent, investigating the changing nature of the global food chain and pondering the real prospect of demand for meat, fish and corn outstripping what the planet can realistically supply. This is my kind of documentary. The kind that confronts the global issues that the majority of us, struggling to juggle work and personal concerns, will let slip to the back of our minds, even though we are directly involved and implicated in the causes and consequences of that issue.

And there's no getting away from this issue. We all eat. If enough individuals chose to eat less meat and only bought locally grown veg, humans might stand a small chance of one day evening out of the world's edible resources. This documentary made me think about the small part I play in that collective choice, and as a result of it I'll be steering clear of imported fish or vegetables from now on (I've already given up meat and I also grow some of my own veg). What more can a documentary maker hope for?

So back to the question. Assuming that you are a novice too, what would you make your first documentary about?

'Agriculture and politics in Argentina,' replied @argentinatours

@alexbainbridge of TourCMS threw in, 'I would make a documentary about how companies make travel websites - so consumers can see the work required and understand. As young consumers get taught about farms, about engineering etc - but few have experienced inside of an online travel company.'

@Travelrants was thinking along the lines of, 'the life of a consumer travel blogger, but I think people would get bored quickly (my family & friends do when I talk about it) :)'

And me, at the moment it would probably have to be about diving, including the psychology of learning to dive, instructor training courses and the ins and outs of the scuba industry from a novice's perspective.

What do you think of these ideas?
What would your first documentary be about?

Also worth checking out are The Future of Food (2004, a film by Deborah Koons Garcia)

8-week Documentary Making Course at the London Academy of Media, Film & TV.