Friday, September 25, 2009


At our meeting last month I offered to source out some cameras for the workshops so that we could document the process of Neighbourhood Diaries. When it came out of my mouth I was thinking still cameras but it soon became clear that some of you thought that I meant video cameras.

A few more seconds of rigorous planning soon got me to the point of envisioning the making a documentary film. A film that would incorporate the video taken by the children during the workshops in addition to footage taken at our meetings, at the Harbourfront show, the parade etc. We could use this also to document the nascent beginnings of 826TO.

I have done a little research but have not identified the cameras to use nor who will pay for them. Having made the promise I will supply some equipment even if I have to pay for it myself. It would however be nice to find a sponsor who might be willing to donate or subsidize the equipment costs so that we could get more cameras into more hands.

Both Robin and I independently came up with the idea of possibly setting up a camera in each session so that participants could sit down in front of the lens and speak what they wished (like the 'speakers corner' concept). He also suggested that some of you were interested in helping with this documentary/photo project. If you want to get involved please let me know soon.

I also had a conversation with Professor Matt Ratto at the Critical Making Lab at UofT and we discussed the idea of hacking some cheap cameras so that they could be worn by the kids around there necks and programmed for example to shoot a still every 5 seconds.

For Liz's first session in October I will try to have 2 HD video cameras. One will be set on a tripod and running like a speakers corner booth. The other could be held by me or someone else who would use it to taking moving video, or it could be set as a stationary wide-angle view of the room.

I will also try to get some digital still cameras into the hands of the children so that they can take random shots of their own. I'm not sure yet what to do with all of these images but I think it could be used to create an interesting display piece.

Your thoughts and involvement are welcome.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Neighbourhood Diaries recently appeared at IGNITE Toronto. I've never conveyed so much information in so little time - 5 minutes, 20 slides, 15 seconds a slide.

Ignite T.O. Robin Uchida - Neighbourhood Diaries from Ignite Toronto on Vimeo.

Thanks to Tim Yull and Nabil for recommending it. Some space was offered and others volunteered. All-in-all an interesting experience for me and a success for ND.