Timelines for the Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production Phases
Submitted by kentbye on Thu, 2005-06-09 18:10. About | Collaboration | EchoChamberProject | Evolution | History | KentBye | Theory | Wilber
I aggregated the timelines for the Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production Phases of The Echo Chamber Project for a paper that Dr. Cline's is working on.
Below is an overview of how the film came about and where it has been so far. It also traces the evolution of the collaborative aspects of the post-production.
More details about the actual production can be found by reading the interviews that have been transcribed.
There are links to blog entries covering the big post-production highlights in the timeline, and more details can be found by sifting through the blog archives...
DATE PRE-PRODUCTION: 4/20/02 I attended an anti-war rally in Washington DC four months before the Bush Administration launched their broader PR campaign to sell the war in Iraq. 8/22/02 I heard Scott Ritter speak and Baltimore and declare that the Bush Administration was going to go to war in Iraq and that they were going to use WMD to justify it. 8/26/02 Vice President Cheney gave a speech at the VFW that kicked off the public relations campaign to sell the war in Iraq. September to October 2002 I began to periodically record C-SPAN 9/28/02 I attended anti-war rally in DC and didn't see a lot of media coverage. Oct-02 DC Sniper Case broke and I began recording ABC, CBS & NBC news to show the lack of coverage happening at the UN. 10/26/02 I attended anti-war rally in Washington, DC and there still wasn't a lot of media coverage. 11/6/02 I began recording ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and PBS' Newshour with Jim Lehrer every night until the war began on March 19, 2003 11/8/02 UN Security Council passed 1441 setting the mandate for the weapons inspectors in Iraq. 11/25/02 I began recording BBC every day Dec-02 I began recording Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Brit Hume one Fox News and Countdown: Iraq on MSNBC every day. 1/18/03 I attended an anti-war rally in Washington, DC and still wasn't hearing much substance from the rallies in the media coverage. 1/28/03 Bush's State of the Union Address 2/5/03 Colin Powell's UN speech 2/15/03 I attended an anti-war rally in New York City 3/19/03 The war began and I began recording over 60 hours per day of the media's coverage of the war until July 2003. The Echo Chamber documentary will only analyze the 35+ hours of ABC, CBS and NBC's coverage before March 19th, 2003. 9/1/03 I leave my full-time engineering job with Northrop Grumman to work full-time on The Echo Chamber documentary. 9/1/03 I begin to log and re-watch all of the pre-war coverage from ABC, CBS and NBC Nov-03 I begin to put together a timeline of all of the pre-war news coverage from mainstream, alternative and government sources Late November 2003 Pre-production interviews with Jack Nelson & Ray McGovern December 2003 to May 2004 Ongoing research into the pre-war political PR campaign and the media's coverage of it. Mar-04 Journalist Charles Cohen begins to profile on my partner Jen Gouvea and me over the next month for a cover story in the Baltimore City Paper. 3/24/04 Conducted pre-production interviews with Pamela Hess and Jonathan Landay Apr-04 Jennifer Gouvea and I moved from Baltimore to Maine May 16th, 2004 Pre-production interview with Amy Goodman in Bar Harbor, ME Jun-04 Began making preliminary contacts for coordinating interviews in New York City and Washington DC. June 16th, 2004 Baltimore City Paper published the cover story, "Caught On Tape: Filmmaker Kent Bye Says the Media is Partially Responsible for the Iraq War--and He Has the Footage to Prove it" June 18-19, 2004 Pre-production interviews with four activists at a Peace Conference in Orono, ME Late June 2004 Final logistical preparations for the 5-week shooting production. The dates for most of the interviews were pre-scheduled for five-day shoot in New York with the final times being set on arrival into the city. The 4-week shoot in Washington D.C. had preliminary commitments or with the week of availability, but the majority of the final scheduling and interview solicitation would happen throughout the actual production.
DATE PRODUCTION 6-28-04 to 7-2-04 Conducted 11 interviews in New York City over 5 days. 7-8-04 to 8-3-04 Conducted 25 interviews in and around Washington D.C over 27 days. A total of 44 interviews have been conducted up to this point with over 40 hours of interview footage. 8/7/04 After an insanely intense 5-week production schedule, Jennifer Gouvea and I got married.
DATE POST-PRODUCTION 8/26/04 EchoChamberProject.com is launched in order to increase the online presence of the project and to ultimately open source the text of the documentary interviews for transparency's sake -- tools for the actual collaborative aspect would come later. Sep-04 Developed post-production content and published pre-production research on website -- Brainstormed preliminary theories for how open source investigative journalism could work. 9/21/04 Began post-production blog Oct-04 Developed an initial information architecture to facilitate collaboration based upon an elaborate comment system using a third-party comment provider of Haloscan. I intended to have people get more involved with doing distributive research on topics down the road, but this system would not have scaled very well. It was confusing and I was going to be the bottle neck for processing and reducing all of the contributed information, I needed something more open and less hierarchical. Oct-04 I came up with a number of tasks to distribute amongst potential volunteers -- I received some volunteers for some of the tasks, but again it later to proved difficult for me to have to coordinate and direct this volunteer action -- I was still on the look-out for a better solution for open source collaboration for journalism and filmmaking 10/5/04 Bartcop.com put a call out a call for volunteers to help with transcribe interviews and help with the project. The necessary volunteers for 44 interviews are recruited within 24 hours. Oct-04 Began loading in interview footage and shipping out interviews to be transcribed throughout the month. Mid-October 2004 The crash of my Terrabyte harddrive prevented the loading of further interview footage. Fortunately, I didn't loose the footage I had already captured. I mentioned that I needed to back-up my harddrive, but I never explicitly explain why in order to prevent any doubts about the project with potential funders. In hindsight, full transparency would've better explained the delay in getting all of the interviews transcribed. 10/15/04 I secured my first advisor to the project from the film world, Brian Newman. I've known Newman from my film festival travels, and he was very interested in the film's topic and how I planned on experimenting with new ways to produce media and reach new audiences. 11/4/04 Bush wins re-election and I take a short break to do some post-production research of sociological media theory in order to find a narrative structure in order to make fit all of the multiple perspectives that I've gathered with over 40 hours of interview footage. November to December 2004 I began to sift through some academic articles to gain insights for how to integrate all that I had learned from the 44 perspectives that we interviewed throughout the production. I did a lot of digesting and reflection during this time period using my blog as a personal knowledge management tool. I discovered that there is not very much explicit journalistic theory in the academic world, but that instead it is spread out through other disciplines such as sociology, political science and communications. I found a lot of media criticism insight from the field of sociology and Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy was very helpful for finding ways to integrate perspectives across academic disciplines. November to January 2004 I began searching for potential film producers, more film advisors and potential funders to help shepherd the film through post-production. Late November 2004 I began synthesizing various my writings into a more formal business plan. At first, I was focusing on the film as my only product. I would start expanding on the second product of "How I collaboratively produce the film" in early 2005. 12/8/04 Newman informed me that my film project has continued to come up in casual conversations with people from inside the film world as an example of someone who is using technology in innovative ways. He tipped me off to an article called "Maximizing Distribution" that helped me brainstorm how I could use the echochamberproject.com website to start building my audience for the film before it was released. Dec-04 Newman suggested that I elaborate more about how exactly I plan on using the Internet to facilitate collaborative production of the film. Up to this point, I had only imagined that it would possible to include a small set of advisors providing feedback and input. I later wrote a more detailed post for how I plan on using an open source approach to various aspects of my film. 12/29/04 While on vacation in California, we dropped by The Institute of Noetic Sciences to interview their president James O'Dea for an additional perspective on human rights and human consciousness. 1/13/05 I secured Dr. Andrew Cline as my first advisor from the academic world -- a Rhetoric scholar, blogger and journalism professor. Mid-January 2005 The Sundance Film Festival held a panel discussion on Documentaries and Blogs. I contacted all of the panelists with a press release and realized that the panel was comprised of either pure bloggers or pure filmmakers, but featured no one who was actually doing both yet. 1/21/05 I listened to a two-day webcast of a "Blogging, Journalism & Credibility" Conference that was held by the Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. After the first day of listening, I realized that I had been writing about many of the same media issues that were being discussed at the conference. I also realized that I had a lot of ideas for how to make my film project more collaborative that I wanted to share with these conference participants. I could feel that the momentum was building for big changes to happen with journalism, and I wanted to share my insights with them. I learned about podcasting, tagging sites like del.icio.us and Technorati and who to watch for the latest citizen journalism developments. Late January to February 2005 I started to really think about what types of analytical techniques could make distributed journalism scalable. I started to come up with some promising solutions for how to get more volunteers involved with the project down the road. Late January2005 I started to investigate some open source content management systems that could facilitate an online social network -- I ended up choosing CivicSpace, which is built on top of Drupal. Feb-05 I participated in a two-week Online Social Networking conference where I received feedback and developed a lot of my ideas for decentralized citizen journalism. I received my first real taste with interacting in an online community. I found out what type of communication strategies worked and what didn't -- condensing my thoughts into a graphic seemed to help a lot. 3/4/05 I was able to have some of my ideas exposed to a closed conference about the future of journalism called "Whose News?" when Rebecca MacKinnon posted a link to my New Media Ecosystem flowchart. Mid-March 2005 I attended the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX where I was able to network with other activist technologists, pitch my project to a lot of the panelists, and receive a lot of feedback. I also learned more about the emerging technologies. Apr-05 I applied the insights gained at SXSW in the development in an 11-phase project roadmap Apr-05 I converted a sister site over to Drupal in order to start learning more about it. EchoChamberProject.com converted to a Drupal base in early May. May-05 Proofread more interview transcribes and worked on the new website in preparation for an upcoming conference on how technology is changing politics. 5/16/05 Attended Personal Democracy Forum in New York City where I interviewed 13 different leaders of the New Media movement about their predictions for how technology is going to change politics, culture and the media. 5/17/05 Attended a one-day CivicSpace users summit where I learned more about the upcoming features and was able to network with more developers. Late May to Early June 2005 Learned more about how to maintain a Drupal website and debugged a number of errors.