Author Archives: riadas99

Photo journal – Ria

This week I continued with my film along with work on my annotated bibliography. Most of the information is the same from my first semester independent project but there are many pictures I would need to cite. The film process is moving along smoothly so I decided to use this post as an opportunity to show some photos that will be in the video.

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Pros and Cons -Ria

This week I continued working on my film and edited mostly. Editing is not fun and I do not enjoy doing it. My favorite part of this project is piecing together pictures and other content and seeing what fits best. It is satisfying laying out new material and working fresh on it after editing the same material for so long. Editing is tiring and much more technical than I expected. I talked to some people about my film and many have encouraged me to consider using video clips from other sources in my film. I’ve thought about this a lot this week and I decided I would save the copy I am working on with just pictures and try it out. I wonder if it will make it more engaging. I am planning on doing this next week and showing a clip to two people, one being my mentor and another being a friend of mine. Ultimately, though, if finding and editing video clips takes a long time I may not do it just for time sake. Continue reading

Film process

These past few weeks I started making my film and I am in the process still. I put the content into the imovie storyboard and am now formatting it. This is the first step to the film production. I was planning on putting the video together slowly bit by bit and while I am still planning on doing that, I found that it was helpful to at least plan out the major scenes of the film. This way I know what I am working towards next in the film. The film making part itself is taking longer than expected because it is a lot more technical than I thought it would be. There cannot be any gaps in the film, especially my type  of film. In videos dense with history and information it is hard enough to keep viewers attention, if the film is not clearly planned through and choppy it is even harder. This is currently my fear and biggest struggle in making. I need to save a lot of time at the end for editing which is why this past week has been busier. Continue reading

Picture Films – Ria

This week I wanted to focus on the film clips I am watching and next week I’ll focus more on the storyboarding process. I watched a film clip this weekend called “The Miseducation of Dylann Roof”. While watching it I realized that many of the documentaries we watch are picture based. I never noticed this because when we think of a picture film we think of something slightly boring and not so interactive. There is a way to use pictures to tell a story and a way to make pictures seem as though they are a piece of film instead. While paying attention to the craft only, I realized how much technique goes into these types of films. I think I will find times throughout the filmmaking process where I get frustrated due to running out of ideas on how to craft the pictures and what techniques to use on them. I want to compile a bunch of links with films that do a good job of engaging with pictures, one of them being the recent film clip on Dylann Roof. This is not a problem for me because I love watching documentaries, it would just be watching with a different intention: technique and craft.

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Here is the link to the video incase anyone is interested in the craft or even the topic (


Research and Format – Ria

This week I spent a lot of my time researching different types of films and ways to make an engaging film about history. When I watch history films it is oftentimes hard for me to stay engaged if I do not have particular interest in the subject or is not made in a fun or interesting format. A film that is dense with information can be both hard to follow and also at times uninteresting. That being said, the format of the film can be just as crucial as the topic itself. Many would agree “it’s all in the presentation”. After looking at different types of films and watching trailers of all kinds I decided I wanted to make a picture film. After talking to my mentor he told me I can pull it off but there is also a chance it does not come out to be as engaging as I thought. I want my film to be comprised of photos depicting the stories I tell. I may include article headlines, photos of rulers, war scenes, perspectives from both Pakistan and India and Kashmir. I need a variation of photos in order to do this well and I need to learn many techniques. This will come from watching these types of films and replicating many techniques. I am excited to start storyboarding my video and laying out each scene: this has been the part of the seminar I’m most looking forward to doing.

Here is a link to some older history films made: Watching a film with the intention of looking at technique and format more so than the plot can provide a different lens to the film.

No Film School – Ria

While I have been working on my treatment and plot for my film, I have also been researching how to make a documentary. I found a blog that is very interesting, not just for someone wanting to make a film. No Film School is similar to a news source like Buzzfeed or Fast Company but focused on filmmaking. Continue reading

Last Research-Ria

Rather than complete a film on my research this semester, I am rather, going to complete a large annotated bibliography with all of my research. The annotations will include what helped me and also what information I found to be most intriguing and crucial. This semester I am glad I changed my focus. I think I was able to gain a better understanding of the conflict of India/Pakistan by hearing two perspectives rather than just plain fact. While I needed facts in my research, the bias gave me new angles that were much more personal. Much of the information I received from reading about the Partition I found to be similar to Israel/ Palestine. There are continuing wars and fights breaking out even years after the conflict first began. Towards the end of the semester I researched more regarding Kashmir. Kashmir, currently belongs to India but it majority Muslim. Pakistan and India have fought over Kashmir’s independence for years and there are ongoing battles and protests. In the news recently there has been violence and even schools were shut down. Both countries have not come to an agreement on where Kashmir should stand: as a part of Pakistan or India.  Continue reading

Deeper Research

This past week has been a bit more difficult for me. I have not been able to find specific information on what I need. I have many books and resources to look at which are giving me a ton of information, almost a bit too much. There is a lot of information on the conflict in general along with politics regarding British rule but I have not been able to find bias on my specific 5 key events. I talked to Teacher Margaret and she advised me to reach out to some organizations through universities or relating to South Asian studies. I reached out to the Center for South Asian Studied at the University of Michigan (  along with Villanova University. I hope to hear back from them at some point soon so I can continue my research on what I need for my film.


Link to Picture

While it has also been frustrating not finding specific information for my project, I have learned so much about India and Pakistan’s relation with each other. In general, I am learning more about India which was one of my goals for this project. That being said, I have been thinking about extending my project to a full year so that I can focus this entire semester on research and get a good handle on the material and topic. I want to have as much knowledge as I can, even drawing away from the partition itself, though it is still my focal point. If I were to execute this new plan, I would be able to focus the entire second semester on film making which would then give me time to genuinely learn about film and how to make a history film.

Opposing Viewpoints

For those who did not read my earlier post or forgot, I am planning on focusing my research on five events and creating a film including two biases: one from the Pakistani viewpoint and one from the Indian one. This past week I struggled a bit with my events. I wanted to change and even limit the number of events to focus on. I still do not know what I will be doing but all I know is it is much harder to find bias than I expected. I figured it would be easy to do so because you can just search online, “Indian bias partition of India” and it will come up with many results. I tried this and could not find many reputable sources. I met with Teacher Deb along with the librarians and we all worked together to find a few books with viewpoints. Along with that, we found a website full of useful links with more than just the facts. One book we found, “Sources of Indian Tradition” has a section in it called “Muslim Traveler to the West” and a section devoted to leaders of the Islamic revival. I found throughout my research that religion is a key factor that will play into it. Most Indians with a perspective were Hindu while most Pakistanis were Muslim at this time. By the end of this week I hope to have some more research on one of my events and have a set plan on what events I want to actually focus on. Continue reading