Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hey Laundroteers! (sorry, that’s the best name I could come up with for now)

Welcome to the first post for The Laundromat Documentary blog. I’ve put it off for too long, but I’m hoping to make this a place to post any updates on the progress of the movie and my observations on the process of making this doc happen.

Right now I am in what can only be the most simultaneously tedious and exciting part of the post-production process – logging and transcribing. Traditionally, doc editors and their assistants watch through the footage and take detailed notes on the image and content of the video. While interning for Espinosa Productions (during those long-ago days of my undergrad), my notes would often look like this: WS of crowd to MCU on speaker, pan left to right over faces, 01:03:25:11-great B-roll of woman holding baby…

It sounds like a lot of gibberish, but it was essential for the editors to know what kind of material they had and when it occurred. Because I am doing this part myself, I get to relive all the glorious moments of production. Of course, this means watching back and taking notes on close to 40-50 hours of footage. And that means A LOT of sitting alone in a dark room cozied up to the warm glow of a school computer. People often ask me, “Vanessa, why don’t you have someone else do that?”

My answer is that even if I had the resources to hire a squadron of editorial assistants, there’s nothing like knowing the footage by heart. I’m taking notes while I watch, recording my initial reactions to emotional moments, and even writing down the important thematic elements that jump out. Everyone does it a bit differently, but I decided to take this route.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing with my film right now. In addition to that, I’m working with a web designer and programmer to launch the interactive website, as well as searching out fiscal sponsorship and grant money. It can get hectic, but all of my collaborators have made my load lighter and the process fun. It’s a ridiculous privilege to work with such talented and passionate people, and I can’t get enough of them (I hope they feel the collaboration love too).

So check back soon! There will be more updates and links to visual material, such as production stills and even some video clips. Feel free to ask me questions or leave comments for me here or on the facebook page (