Let the beneficiaries present your project
Project documentary | Title Antriebskraft Mikrokredit | Concept & Storyline: Barbara Hell, Paula Wey, Patrick Etienne, Hynek Bureš | Camera Enrico Bartolucci | Voice-over Fernando Tiberini | Producer and Director Hynek Bureš | Edit & Graphics: Hynek Bureš | 2013
The video was published end of May 2013 during a SDC/SECO conference informing the public about the Swiss contribution to the countries in Eastern Europe.
In May I travelled to Latvia to shoot a short documentation about a Swiss development project that provides microcredits to small business initiatives. At that point the story was written out in all its details. I go to great length to write the story as concretely as possible. There is plenty of space to improvise when you are on location filming, but knowing the story in advance helps you to make sure you capture at least the images you need for the story. It also helps me to make sure I capture everything my client wants to see. This approach proved to be justified as I will explain in the next paragraph. But first watch the video in German, or with English or French subtitles:
Having a clear storyline was very helpful. Switzerland supports financially a Latvian bank to hand out small credits with very preferable conditions to people that wanted to start or to enlarge their business. These people didn't know much about the Swiss project, they volunteered to be in front of their camera out of good will, imagining a reporter team coming and asking a few questions. They wanted to be done with it quickly. In such circumstances improvising on the spot isn't obvious.
And so my job was to hand out chocolate to our hosts and make them feel at ease trying to get the best out of our 2-4 hours together (there I was pushing the limits already!). The only moment where I tried to improvise a situation is when I made them act out a scene that introduces the next person's portrait ... with mixed results. But this was my tongue-in-cheek undertone ;-)
The video turned out well. Of course, I see many things that could be improved the next time. I kept to the 6 minutes my client asked me to. But it is too short to present 3 portraits - each for 1.5 minutes - and give some background information about the country and the project. There is much information cramped into little time. This works well in the German version where a voice-over leads you through the movie. The German version was subtitled into French and English. In the subtitled versions you certainly notice the high speed of the information flow.
Here the maestro - Enrico Bartolucci - in full gear: