Author Topic: Jackson Heights Documentary  (Read 1873 times)

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Jackson Heights Documentary
« on: January 02, 2019, 12:48:40 PM »
Hi Neighbors,

Happy 2019!

I'm so happy to be part of this forum and get to know my community better! I'm so inspired by the way our neighborhood is changing that this year I set out to document it. This is not a sponsorship, I'd simply love to connect with you all here and hear any thoughts that you may have!

I am a filmmaker, currently working on a documentary about Jackson Heights and I created an Instagram page as a way to further connect with the community and with people who may be interested on our neighborhood https://www.instagram.com/jackson.heights/ I will be sharing pictures taken by me and by you if you'd like to participate. If you have any thoughts/comments about the documentary, feel free to reach out! I'd love to share more about it here too!

All the best,
Val
Instagram: @jackson.heights
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 12:55:17 PM by msvaleriaangel »

Offline hfm

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 07:47:40 AM »
Hi Neighbors,

Happy 2019!

I'm so happy to be part of this forum and get to know my community better! I'm so inspired by the way our neighborhood is changing that this year I set out to document it. This is not a sponsorship, I'd simply love to connect with you all here and hear any thoughts that you may have!

I am a filmmaker, currently working on a documentary about Jackson Heights and I created an Instagram page as a way to further connect with the community and with people who may be interested on our neighborhood https://www.instagram.com/jackson.heights/ I will be sharing pictures taken by me and by you if you'd like to participate. If you have any thoughts/comments about the documentary, feel free to reach out! I'd love to share more about it here too!

All the best,
Val
Instagram: @jackson.heights

Have you seen https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4936064/ ?


Offline itsit

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 10:33:08 AM »
 My thoughts too. Look at the documentary which in the opinion of some in the neighborhood leaves alot to be desired so if
your film wants to go a different direction, there is certainly a lot of material here. It might help to give something of a pitch
on your point of view about Jackson Heights also.

Offline earbears

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 12:01:25 PM »
Please explain what are you interested in about Jackson Heights.

I think that many of us are concerned because there have been documentaries which frankly do not show this area in a positive light. Having lived here for a long time, I do not want my neighborhood shown in a negative or unattractive way.

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 02:22:00 PM »

Have you seen https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4936064/ ?

Hi! Yes, I have seen it. I have been researching anything and everything that has been documented about Jackson Heigths. I'm currently reading Daniel's book too. I'm definitely looking to do something very different to "In Jackson Heights". I will share more about my ideas below so I can respond to the other posts as well.

Thank you for sharing it!
Val

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 02:27:25 PM »
My thoughts too. Look at the documentary which in the opinion of some in the neighborhood leaves alot to be desired so if
your film wants to go a different direction, there is certainly a lot of material here. It might help to give something of a pitch
on your point of view about Jackson Heights also.

Hi, I agree. That documentary was more of an observational piece and indeed it leaves a lot open to be desired. I've been a resident of Jackson Heights for 5 years but I've frequented the neighborhood for 10+ years. My main reason to document Jackson Heights is because, as I've discovered it myself, I've noticed that it is a wonderful neighborhood that is not know for the right reasons and I would like to change that. I think it has so much potential and it is already a fantastic place to live, but many people don't know about it or they've only heard part of its story. I'm more than happy to share with you my documentary proposal so you get a better sense of what the documentary aims to do. Let me know if you're interested! :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Val

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 02:35:19 PM »
Please explain what are you interested in about Jackson Heights.

I think that many of us are concerned because there have been documentaries which frankly do not show this area in a positive light. Having lived here for a long time, I do not want my neighborhood shown in a negative or unattractive way.

Hi!

Absolutely and rightly so! This is exactly why I set out to document Jackson Heights, because I think part of its story (a really big, interesting part) has been left out and if people know about the neighborhood they mostly know it for negative reasons. But, they are missing out on all the wonderful things that it has always had and it has continued to develop. I've been a resident of Jackson Heights for 5 years but I've frequented the neighborhood for 10+ years. I'm more than happy to share with you my documentary proposal so you get a better sense of what the documentary aims to do. Let me know if you're interested!

Offline Matt

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 07:59:10 PM »
I still don't understand why people in our neighborhood disliked, "In Jackson Heights". I thought it was a really great portrait of our neighborhood in that moment in time. Yes, it showed the grit and grime under the 7 train along Roosevelt Ave, but in contrast to the more verdant historic district. These contrasts are what make our neighborhood a fascinating place to live.

I think a film that went out of its way to paint JH in only a positive light would be pretty dull and unrealistic. That's not to say that is what I think you are doing, Val.

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 09:11:54 PM »
I still don't understand why people in our neighborhood disliked, "In Jackson Heights". I thought it was a really great portrait of our neighborhood in that moment in time. Yes, it showed the grit and grime under the 7 train along Roosevelt Ave, but in contrast to the more verdant historic district. These contrasts are what make our neighborhood a fascinating place to live.

I think a film that went out of its way to paint JH in only a positive light would be pretty dull and unrealistic. That's not to say that is what I think you are doing, Val.

Hi Matt! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :) I think that it's important to show the whole picture, but there is nothing wrong with focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I intend to document the good and the not so good, but I do want to focus on all the positive and new things happening in our neighborhood. As I think it hasn't been documented properly before.

Offline Matt

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 10:59:51 PM »
I wasn't suggesting that "In Jackson Heights" was negative as I actually thought it was very positive. It was realistic as it showed the many different communities that make up our neighborhood. Although we all live more or less harmoniously here, too often we stay within whatever groups we align ourselves with. It showed many things in the neighborhood that I had never seen before. I really enjoyed that film as did my non-JH friends I went with.

What are some of the new things that you are interested in documenting that you don't feel have been in the past? The Travers Park renovation is the change I'm most excited about! I'll definitely use the park more than I currently do. Despite my excitement for that change, it is really the people and places that have been here longer than the 10+ years I've lived in the neighborhood that make me love JH!

Offline itsit

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 01:49:55 PM »
 Matt, I am not surprised that your friends that were not from the neighborhood like the film In Jackson Heights. There was
a lot to like there. Its just that few people I know recognized their experience of life here on the screen. It was made for
that audience of "others" - not locals as far as I could tell. And people didn't particularly like some of the biases that were
shown of different ethnic groups, some of whom were less cognizant of how they would be portrayed.

  So a question I would also ask the filmmaker is who do you see as your audience? Do you want your film to be something
people living here are proud of and think is authentic and true to their experience or is it a pastiche of interesting but
disparate visuals that don't interconnect much? I would think long and hard about the tone here.

Offline Matt

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2019, 11:07:20 AM »
Itsit, what type of biases did you find in the film? I thought Wisemsn did a great job of filming things as they happened while not interfering with or influencing the outcome. Obviously, having a camera present when there normally isn't one changes things quite a bit, but I think what we saw were those moments when people became comfortable enough with the camera's presence that they forgot it was there.

It's been a while since I saw the film, but there were definitely a few people I know that appeared in it. I don't think I ever asked what their feelings were about how they were portrayed, but likely because I don't think they were portrayed in a negative way. The people I know were in it pretty briefly as well, and I didn't think what I saw was out of character for them.

Our neighborhood is so diverse, I think it would be impossible to capture everyone's experience in a 3 hour+ film, but I credit Wiseman for showing as many different experiences as he did. It sounds like Val plans to capture another experience of our neighborhood and I am curious of what it is and I look forward to seeing her documentary.

For anyone that has not seen "In Jackson Heights" I recommend that you do and form your own opinion. The trailer can be found here: https://www.pbs.org/video/jackson-heights-jackson-heights-trailer/ I really would like to see it again at some point.

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2019, 03:10:45 PM »
Hi Matt and Itsit,

In Jackson Heights shows a lot, I mean it's a 3+ hour documentary so it definitely includes a wide variety of topics and it's an observational piece, meaning we only see places/people interacting as if the camera wasn't there, that doesn't mean it doesn't have a point of view or a perspective. Just the fact that the camera is there and the footage is edited, already makes it a specific perspective.

I intend to do something very different. My documentary will be a lot shorter and it will be full of interviews and sound bites that tell the story of our neighborhood from the perspective of its residents. My audience will be both Jackson Heights residents plus people from the rest of NYC. The idea is to produce something that makes our neighbors proud to live here and encourages other New Yorkers to discover more about our neighborhood; hopefully that will also help to create buzz about JH and contribute to the improvement that we are all seeing and want to continue seeing.

Something like the Travers Park development will definitely be included! I'm so excited to see how that it's going to turn out and I'd love to see more green spaces opening up in the neighborhood.

Thank you both for your interest! I truly appreciate your input and will continue to share the process as this moves forward.

Offline itsit

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2019, 05:14:48 PM »
Msvaleriaangel and Matt,
   It sounds like you have taken a good hard look at the other documentary and have different plans. Great. What I think
the Wiseman movie missed is how all of the pieces - and by that I mean peoples- work here in Jackson Heights. He did
look deeply into some of the cultural things but did not show why the neighborhood is, has been and looks to the future
as a blended community in many areas. Yes, people do go to their places of familiarity be it the various ethnic and religious
groups, the gays, the hipsters, the seniors, etc. But at some points we have an intersection that I believe is unique. It might
be in the park, the Post Office, the supermarket, crossing the street or in your building. THIS is where I think the neighborhood
is fantastic and THIS was not in the Wiseman film in a significant way.

 In addition, I also object to what seemed like stereotypical portrayals of some groups and some editing that was disturbing
in creating falsehoods and finally, in one community there were people who may not have been aware their families would
see the film and may not even aware of the filmmaker at the time. I know that documentary was very well received otherwise
but this is my feeling as a local. One comment you made about wanting more green spaces could be elaborated on as we do
have many green spaces if you look at Google but they are often closed to the general public or are private homes.
But thankfully, they are here which makes for the garden feel that many of us like about the neighborhood.

  Good luck to you on this project!

Offline msvaleriaangel

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Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 05:34:29 PM »
Thank you so much for all your insight itsit!

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Jackson Heights Documentary
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 05:34:29 PM »