Documentary Proposal

What’s the subject matter for this documentary?

We made the plan to film about Neutral Cycle, a bike store just off campus. We would like to get to talk to the owner, someone else who works there possibly, and maybe even a customer. Neutral Cycle seems to be really unique from my experience with it and the preliminary research that I’ve done to learn more about the business. It will be interesting to find out what running a business in a campus town is like, especially on a campus with so many bikers.

What’s your tentative argument at the moment? Or, what sort of argument would you like to make about your subject matter?

Tentatively, we want to argue that Neutral Cycle is an important part of the community. Since there are so many bikers on this campus, many of them must head to Neutral Cycle when they need something for their bike. We want to examine the ways that the people at the store and their love of bikes shop shows through to their customer service. Perhaps a good way to do this would be to talk to customers and bikers and ask them about their experience with the shop.

Who is the audience for this documentary?

There are a few different audiences for this documentary. First of all, the customers of the store may be interested in watching a short documentary about the store they always go to and love. Second, since the store is nearly on campus, students may be interested in knowing more about a piece of the bicycle culture here in Champaign-Urbana. Finally, other business owners in the area may be interested in learning about what makes businesses in the area successful and how customers want to interact with businesses. While this multi-tiered audience may seem broad, interest in the documentary would really be limited to the Champaign-Urbana area.

What type of visual evidence are you planning on collecting?

We are planning to interview the owner of the shop, and if it is possible, a few staff members to talk about their experience working in the shop. Besides the interviews, we would like to record videos of the store itself and maybe some people riding away with their new bikes to show some customers that go there. Talking to current customers and students who ride bikes would be important in understanding the role that bicycle culture and Neutral Cycle each hold in the community.

What problems do you anticipate in filming, editing, and/or creating this documentary? How do you plan on getting around these issues?

One problem that we’re expecting in filming is that the people we interview will go off topic or will not be able to verbally express the importance of the shop in the community enough for their words to stand alone. Another problem we are anticipating is being able to get enough b-roll footage to rollover the interviews. I think that heavy planning for our interviews would help us bring out a powerful message in our documentary. I think that we will also have to shoot a lot of footage to be able to get quality b-roll that really enforces and drives our message.

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