Ross School - Senior Projects 2012
Mentor: Kenneth Kilfara
Domain(s): Media, Cultural History
Faculty Grader: Christopher Engel
Documentation of Product
Title: Shinnecock: Remember the Past, Hope for the Future
I am a Native American from the Shinnecock Tribe, and I am very proud of where
I come from. This pride made it easy to choose what I would do for my Senior
Project—a documentary about my tribe. Through this documentary I tried to
express the importance of the elders in the Shinnecock community as well as
convey a message of unity. For the Shinnecock community, our tribe is of high
importance and the goal of my documentary is to show my people the things that
make up our community, what is important within our Nation and what brings us
Interview with Shirley Smith
Picture of Editing in Final Cut Pro
Picture of Shinnecock elder and youth with Shinnecock Flag
Picture of Editing in Final Cut Pro
Exhibition & Presentation Summary
In creating this documentary about Shinnecock there were many steps that I had to go through. Three main steps in making my movie were the pre-production, production, and post- production phases. In the pre-production aspect of my project I really had to organize my time and figure out what I needed for the documentary and how I would get that. In this process I mostly organized all the interviews that I would do in order to get the information that I needed for my documentary. This was a difficult part of my process because many elders were hesitant to be filmed, and if I didnÕt film the elders for my movie how would I be able to make it? Luckily I was able to set up enough interviews in order to move onto my production phase of my project.
For the production phase I was mostly conducting the interviews and going all or the Shinnecock reservation and getting b-role. In this part of my project I truly was able to learn what I wanted when doing my senior project; I learned more about my tribe, my people, and myself. Listening to the elders tell stories about growing up on the reservation and hearing about the stories that make our tribe gave me a sense of pride for who I am and what I want my tribe to maintain and grow to be. Although the production step wasnÕt always easy because I really had to learn how to be an interviewer, which entailed more then I expected, IÕm happy I did it. Learning how to give an interview was harder then I imagined because you really have to learn how to listen and make the interviewee feel comfortable as if it were a conversation.
Once I had all the footage that I needed to create my film the last step was bringing everything together in order to make my film, the post-production phase. This part of the project is my favorite when working with any footage or film, and itÕs the editing aspect. Here I got to work in final cut pro, which is a program where I was able to cut and past clips together as well as do crazy things such as make an image spin around in a circle. This part was fun for me because I got to excessive my creative ability, yet I ran into many problems in this part of my project. Being that conducting interviews and using the camera was one part of my senior project I wanted to grow in, I didnÕt have the best quality of footage that I wanted. When going over some of the footage I noticed that one of my auntÕs audio was extremely low to the point that final cut pro wasnÕt tech savvy enough to fix. Therefore I had to go reshoot some of her interview.
All in all I truly enjoyed working on my senior project and would do it again in a heartbeat. Finally finishing the project and getting to show the film really gave me a sense of happiness that will last with me forever. January the thirteenth was a day I was working up to since my junior year and to get positive response about my film made all the hiccups and hard aspect of my process seem nonexistent. Working on the Senior project and following through with something so grand as making a documentary showed me that I can Òreach for the starsÓ and that wouldnÕt have been possible without the support and opportunities that Ross School offers.
Bibliography or Works Consulted
" "Drummer's Entry (Native American Drum with Flute)." By Native American Flute. MP3.
"Flag Song." By Black Lodge. MP3.
"Gentle Winds of Love (Winds & Courting Melody)." By Native American Flute. MP3.
"Grandfather's Breath." By Robert Tree Cody & Will Clipman. MP3.
Donald Williams Sr.
Edwin C. Garrett
James H. Phillips
Shinnecock Cultural Campers
Some Footage from Marie Maciak