Author Archives: riadas99

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.

Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 9.28.56 AM.png
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

5 Events

After deciding to create a video based off bias, I picked out the events I wanted to focus on specifically. So far, I limited it to 5 events. The first event I chose is the Lucknow Pact being presented to the British in 1916. The Lucknow Pact was an agreement made between the Indian national Congress and Muslim league to pressure the British officials to give Indians more power over their country. At the time India was under British rule and the point of this pact was to deal with the structure of the government and better relations between Hindus and Muslims. Continue reading

India and Pakistan cannot coexist

The conflict between India and Pakistan which led to being unable to coexist together arose as early as 1916 between two significant figures in Indian history. Jinnah, known well as the creator of Pakistan (muslim), and Mahatma Gandhi, Indian nationalist leader (hindu), were at the forefront of these early disputes. Jinnah, unlike Gandhi, believe government and religion were two entirely different issues that should not be intertwined ever. By around 1940, Jinnah had gathered many followers and convinced Muslims to fight for their own separate homeland that would be free for all religions alike. At this time in history violence arose. Keep in mind, the British had total rule over India during these events. As time progressed, more violence occurred and eventually it was declared that India and Pakistan would be split. While this was a very general summary of the conflict and lead up to the partition, there is much more that played into the government, religion, and control at the time.
Continue reading