The Barefoot Lawyers
During our 1 month stay in Uganda, the majority of our time and focus was spent researching and working. We often met with the talented, passionate individuals that make up Barefoot Law. We met some others along the way.
We were there to hear and capture their story. What that turned into, however, was something far greater than any of us could comprehend. The story's focus shifted from the nonprofit group to a single mother who had a story of her own.
This documentary was our biggest undertaking; we had many challenges stacked against us, and only 3 weeks to overcome them and create this story.
I was responsible for assisting in the cinematography, and then taking all of the footage and interviews and editing a 10 minute documentary from that.
- What sort of laws and geographical factors did we face when going out to film with our gear and small American crew?
- How was I going to overcome the translation and transcription of 2 different African languages that we captured for this film?
- How was I going to edit 3 weeks of footage and interviews into a 10 minute documentary with 2 languages to close-caption?
Our film crew and I were fortunate to have the help of a local and aspiring filmmaker Daug Mulumba. He guided us as we navigated the city while we set up to film on location. We all played a big part in protecting each other, our gear, and the story as we went out to capture supporting imagery.
When it came time to offload, organize, and ingest footage, having a few locals who could speak different dialects and languages fluently greatly eased my sorting of interviews. I worked very closely for many hours and days with them to break apart, translate, and caption the edits of our different film subjects.
The story constantly evolved the more we learned and translated what was being said, and also as we restructured our 10 minute documentary film. I tirelessly worked through many nights, language barriers, and computer crashes to deliver several versions of our final documentary.
I was working to ingest, translate, edit, and close-caption all the way up until the final minute we had to submit our film. It was a long 3 weeks, but the story we heard, captured, and shared was eye-opening and humbling.
In 1 month, my team and I had successfully made 2 documentaries. More than that, though, we had effectively captured the story of a passionate group of lawyers and individuals working to free the people of Kampala from social and economic injustice. We helped to share their story around Uganda, as well as back in the United States, where it was entered into the Festival 500 film circuit.
Watch the documentary below.