Documentary Reflection

I’m making my documentary about hip-hop and the question that overall never gets agreed on, which is “who are the top 5 of all time?” Most of the time your going to hear the same five to eight names mentioned but everyone have different opinions on who’s the absolute best. In my documentary I’m going to film a debate with me and my friends about who we each feel are the best and why we feel that way. If you have serious love for rap, this topic is unavoidable because it is such a competitive sport. MCing is one of the essential elements of hip-hop: The best MCs can make the world move with just words and flow. They don’t just entertain us. They teach us about life, introduce us to new styles, regions, slang, and act as our counselors in times of need. We play their records when we first wake up in the morning. We listen to their songs when we’re on the way to that job we hate, when we’re heading out to the most jamming club, when our girlfriend or boyfriend aggravates us to the point of exhaustion, when everything is wrong with the world and in the good times, too. These are the people we have grown with. “I’m just basically spilling out my emotions to the world. ‘Cause rap is about emotion. And I want you to feel what I’m feeling’, ’cause that’s what it’s about” said Ludacris. I agree with Ludacris that hip hop is expressing your feelings and emotions about your own reality through song. There have been many talented rappers throughout the history of hip-hop. There are always discussions in barbershops, schoolyards and street corners about who the greatest rappers are in the history of hip hop. However, there are certain MC’s who stand out from the rest of the pack and that are truly the greatest rappers in hip-hop history. There are five categories usually used to rate to rappers on which are lyrics, delivery, flow, impact and commercial success.  Lyricism is probably the easiest category to judge since it can be boiled down to words on a page. Flow is how they wrap those lyrics around the beat and how smooth statements build on one another. Delivery is style in which the lyrics are used. 100 rappers could say the same line in the same cadence, but some emcees just bring some extra style that makes you listen just a little bit closer. Culturalimpact is the affect the rapper had not only on the larger hip-hop culture, but also on American culture and global culture. Commercial success is important because hip-hop cares about album sales more than any other musical genre, so it feels natural to factor in #1 hits and platinum albums. This category is the least favorite because it really has nothing to do with a rappers skill. Most likely I’m going to record everything with my iphone unless I find something else to record it with. I will have 5 different recordings each based on one of the categories. I’m going to upload all the videos to my macbook to put them together and edit them there. I’m going to try and find out how to add different things to try and make it like a real serious documentary. Hopefully I can get some intro music and some descriptions into the documentary to make it feel moving, intense, and exciting when necessary. I want the documentary to feel like I’m telling the story of every true hip-hop fan and their strong opinions about different artists because it is a common conversation and a lot of people tend to take it very serious. Hip hop culture is competitive and it’s the culture that we were raised on so in turn when it comes to the subject I believe it’s natural for people to defend a rapper who they feel they are connected to but how can we come to a conclusion is what I’m trying to document. That is what I will capture with my documentary on the greatest rappers of all time. I did come across complications when creating the documentary. First I had to get everyone in the same room at the same time, which is difficult when everyone has classes at different times and if not in class, they’re sleeping. Initially I had just recorded them all separately but I didn’t know how to put the video together all in one. So instead I finally got all my roommates together and explained to them how we were going to make the video, almost like a script. Once I recorded the video I uploaded it to the computer and tried to put it on YouTube but it didn’t work. It said that the file wasn’t in the correct format to be uploaded. So instead I went to you tube on my phone and tried to upload it from there and it worked. Why it worked from my phone instead of on the computer I don’t know. We all sat down in the common area and discuss who we each thought were the best five rappers to us.I would have liked it more if we got into an argument to make it more interesting but my roommates don’t know enough to disagree with someone else’s opinion on hip hop. So we just respectfully gave are artist and gave an explanation of why we felt each was worthy of being in our top ten. Usually in a debate of who is the best rapper, everyone has someone on their list who they might not be the biggest fans of but having knowledge of their music they can agree that they are one of the best. I can do that but might roommates cannot because the rappers on there are the only rappers they know. I’m the only one from a place where its predominantly rap music being played, while they’re use to hearing country or pop music day by day. This made the process kind of different but in the end it is all about opinion.Through it all the video went as planned and being that this is the third time I have redone the documentary I feel as if it came out as good as possible.

Documentary Film Process Journal (Download Link)


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