Transcribing the Past, Reliving the Memories

by Erin Kelly
October 30 2011

I am currently working on a transcript for the entire film. As you can imagine, this is quite a laborious process. I had worked with transcripts for the foreign-language stories, but this is on a whole other scale. You have to maintain a high level of focus, meticulousness and attention to detail. I like to think I’m making good time (it’s been taking me about an hour to transcribe 15 minutes of the film). But it can still be a daunting task.

What I have enjoyed throughout this process though is really being able to relive a lot of the moments of the trip, especially moments during the interviews, since that’s what I’ve been focusing on. What many people may not know is that all of our subjects were speaking directly to me during these interviews. While my mom was behind the camera, I was sitting to the side and asking the questions. It is a very different kind of experience watching an interview that you know you have done. You’re not just watching the person being interviewed. You have a sense of the complete picture; you are aware that it was really a conversation that took place and you were the person sitting right there, having that conversation. It’s almost an out-of-body experience of sorts.

Watching these interviews over and over again has brought back a lot of memories for me of what it was like having those conversations. I start remembering how I was feeling that day, how I was reacting to certain things they said, the environment around us, where exactly we were doing the interviews, all of the distractions around us that we had to keep quiet, etc. In many of the countries we visited, it was a bit of a challenge to find a nice quiet place with a decent background and good lighting where we could conduct an interview for at least an hour without any disturbances. But what was really profound for me was having our subjects speaking directly to me, telling me of their trials and tribulations, crying about the tragedies in their lives (or sometimes, about the sheer happiness they feel when they know they’ve accomplished something), expressing their intense passion for what they are doing to make the world a better place. It really made me feel connected to them in a more personal way. They inspired me with their passion, reaffirmed in my mind that what we were doing was right, and motivated me to continue on in the next leg of our journey. It was such a powerful experience to interview these incredible people, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to do so.

The purpose of having this transcription is so that the film can be translated into many different languages, which will hopefully facilitate our goal of sharing the film and its message throughout the world. The more languages we can cover, the more people we can reach. Although it’s a lot of work now, it will all be worth it in the end.

P.S. – Please share this film and contribute to our efforts on IndieGoGo – every little bit helps and we are so appreciative of everyone’s support so far in raising funds to promote the film and spread its message.

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One Response

  1. Gail Mooney

    Erin reminds me just how important interviews are in carrying out the message of a documentary. It starts with an organized list of questions. Erin did a lot of research on all of our subjects to come up with a relevant list of questions – questions that would provoke the kind of answers that would ultimately provide the narrative of the documentary.

    More importantly, it was her rapport with the subjects that came through in the film and made the film what it was. These are the things that most people don’t notice in a film – but then again when something is done well – it does go unnoticed. It’s when it is done poorly that people take note.

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