Adventures in Blogodocumentaries!

July 1st, 2009 by Laurel

Aaron: On Tuesday night Laurel, Emma, and I had the pleasure of being interviewed for filmmaker Paula Kelly’s upcoming documentary on the blogging community in Winnipeg. Most of the information for Paula’s project can be found at her website entitled BlogWinnipeg. As Paula describes it, “the intent for BlogWinnipeg is to fuse together the languages of cinema and new media in an innovative short documentary about Winnipeg, as seen and experienced by its own citizens.” To be a part of Paula’s documentary is especially exciting when I consider that Emma is the only Wo’MHer who has been living here for more than a year. Laurel and I are of the 2009 Winnipeg vintage, and yet I hope we can offer perspectives that enhances the story Paula will create through her film. I have been on radio and TV before, but I haven’t been interviewed as part of a documentary. I’m worried most about the awkward moments when either Laurel, Emma, or Paula was speaking and I was nervously fidgeting or giving myself a bad angle. Oh, Winnipeg. How I suffer through vanity for your blogodocumentary needs.

Emma: We’ve now had the novel experiences of being interviewed both on the radio and for film for our blog. And I have to say, it’s been fun… but I still like blogging better. It’s easier to express myself, I think, when I can edit a post until it says what I actually mean. On radio you’re put somewhat on the spot, and think of a million ways you could have said something better the moment they turn the tapes off. And even though I’m sure Paula will do an excellent job of editing, I felt like I didn’t — or wasn’t able to — properly articulate my feelings about Winnipeg. When I tried to describe or explain the complex, deep ways I feel about this city, it seemed (to me, anyway) to come off as trite or superficial. I guess that’s the beauty of this place: people like it for reasons that are indescribable. (Interestingly, people seem to hate it for no particular reason, too.) I think many people have an easier time of communicating one way or another (either writing or speaking) and it’s for exactly that reason that I think it’ll be really cool to see and hear the human faces and voices behind the names of bloggers that make up the Winnipeg blogging community. I’m curious to see whether what we say out loud matches up to what we write and publish online.

Laurel: We ended up filming in this weird parkade-top garden at the base of my building (Sidenote: I need to devote some time researching Winnipeg’s architectural weirdness – it’s not the first rooftop garden I’ve seen, but so far it’s been the only one I’ve spotted in this city). Outside of some zealous early evening construction noises, the filming went by without a hitch. I’m definitely in the same camp as Emma – writing as a means of self expression offers a lot of opportunities to reword, rework and read over. We had opportunities to rephrase and stop during the filming, but it was a lot like having to sit down and write something concisely without my usual procrastination and over-thinking. During filming, I was embarrassed to find myself completely stumped by the question ‘What’s the best thing about Winnipeg?’ In the end I think I rambled about the friendliness of the people (which still floors me – Manitoba, your license plates don’t lie!) but in retrospect, the thing I really love about this city is that we’re blogging about it. I feel like I’ve done more here, discussed, debated and thought more about this city than any other, and have had so many opportunities to be questioning, clueless newcomer that never would have happened without this blog. We’ve also become part of this extremely active, articulate Winnipeg blogging community, virtually-meeting and reading the exploits and opinions of other bloggers in the city. Would I feel the same about Winnipeg had we not started this blog? I’m not sure. I think it may have remained to me like Vancouver did the years I lived there – admired, but largely unstudied. In the same way an unexamined life is not worth living, an unexplored city is not worth living in.

Thanks Paula, for the excellent opportunity to be a part of BlogWinnipeg – we’re looking forward to seeing the finished product, and what other Winnipeg bloggers have to say about this fair city!

4 Responses to “Adventures in Blogodocumentaries!”

  1. Yet another great post.

    I wonder if this (in)ability to articulate what makes Winnipeg so great is unique to Winnipeg?

    I know it’s GREAT, but I often struggle when I tell people about her. Maybe it’s this inferiority complex Winnipeg wears?

    You know maybe it is something as simple as her people? I’ve said that many times.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Angelsea says:

    Laurel forgets to mention that not only does the parkade double as a rooftop garden, but ALSO – an outdoor gymnasium. Which, after a few tries while I was there, I realized that not only am I in terrible shape, but that simple wooden posts and metal beams provide a challenge in any season, particularly winter. 😉

  3. Ann says:

    I’m just reading through archives when I get a spare moment – its been such an insightful way to get to know my new city. Always a pleasure. The link to BlogWinnipeg is no longer active (fair enough after 2 + years) – do you know what ever became of that documentary and anyway to view it? I’d be curious . . .

    Thanks so much 🙂

  4. Emma says:

    Hi Ann, thanks! Well, I know that Paula did finish her film, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to the screening. It also played on the MTS Video on Demand (and is maybe still available), but as I don’t have MTS cable I haven’t been able to see it yet. Definitely hope to see it one day. Thanks for reminding me that I need to check with my friends and family to see who has MTS!

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