After six months work, a series of instructional videos aimed toward universities in Iraq have been completed through a collaboration of the University of Arizona Arizona State Museum, The Drachman Institute, and the U.S. State Department.
The videos illustrate such topics as what constitutes an archaeological collection, how to label and photograph objects, and procedures used in the acquisition of artifacts for museum study and storage. Each video has English language surtitles, while the audio is included in English, Arabic and Kurdish.
Daniel Buckley Productions began work on the project in July, working with Arizona State Museum staff to film every aspect of their work in documenting archaeological collections. The narrative was then recorded, and additional detail shots added until the full story could be told both visually and verbally. Once English version were complete, Arabic and Kurdish translators were brought in to provide new voice overs. The project required DBP to use the English versions as a starting point and expand or contract various visual depictions, depending on how long each section’s translation required.
Numerous stages of review, editing and adjustment resulted in a series of videos that will be the model for other projects helping archaeologists around the world build upon techniques developed at the University of Arizona. The videos have been uploaded to YouTube to maximize their use in the Middle East.
Similar projects are underway to translate the series into Spanish later in 2015, and additional projects for end users in Afghanistan are now in development. Daniel Buckley Productions is proud to be part of this historc and important undertaking.
If there is one thing I have learned from documentary making it is that the elements of a story can be combined in many ways.
It is a puzzle in which the corners and shapes are fluid, at least on the surface of things.
The question becomes how best to order and mix elements to tell a story. And this is the mark of the editor’s art.
Recently I wrapped up a project for AnzaDays.com, funded by Arizona Humanities.
I was hired to work with four Arizona Humanities scholars – poet Rita Magdaleno, historian Jim Turner, archaeologist Allen dart and author Gregory McNamee.
Each had given a talk at Canoa Ranch on a particular subject. Before the lectures I talked with each about what they would be speaking about, and a bit about their own background, or the elements of their talk.
I tried to find a location suitable for each person. McNamee was interviewed at the San Pedro chapel in Tucson. Dart at a Hohokam petroglyph site near the Tucson Mountains. Turner was interviewed at Tumacacori Mission – a Spanish land grant location – and Magdaleno in Tubac along the Anza Trail and on the porch of the main gallery.
These preliminary discussions were used to create 30-second web and PSA spots for the lecture series. I also filmed and shot still images of each lecture, as well as the gatherings at Canoa Ranch during which the presentations were made.
Beyond the 30 second spots I was contracted to create five minute portraits of each to be used on their individual websites, as well as to promote the Arizona Humanities Council’s speakers program.
In addition to the material I filmed I also had all of the PowerPoint materials of each speaker, and a storehouse of photos and stock footage from my own collection, all of which came in very handy in the story telling.
With Allen Dart I had also taken a trip as part of his Old Pueblo Archaeology project to see vestiges of Hohokam culture in NW Tucson/Marana on the occasion of the Fall Equinox. While there I watched and photographed a dagger shaped shaft of light intersect the coils of a petroglyph spiral at noon on the day of the equinox.
At the lecture event, I videotaped Spanish colonial era reenactors riding in and talking with the crowd. I also pulled up footage of the Presidio cannon firing from a previous Tucson birthday celebration, as well as shots of a Hohokam pit dwelling, and stills from a prior trip to Tumacacori.
All of these elements came together in the words of the speakers and gave me options in story telling above and beyond the mere verbal expressions.
In the end, as always is the case, it was trial and error that dictated the final sequencing and layering of words and images. But the synergy of those diverse elements told a richer story than any single member could.
As always there were technical challenges. Matching audio and introducing visual elements of different aspect ratios, creating a sense of motion in still images through animation, and generally blurring the lines in transitions of elements required considerable focus. But in the end, all four pieces told good stories. And that’s what it’s all about.
The fall issue of the Journal of Arizona History has been released, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Arizona Historical Society.
The publication features the 150 artifacts from the broad AHS collection to mark the celebration. The group of artifacts, chosen by AHS staff to represnt the history of Arizona, was photographed by Daniel Buckley Productions during the spring of 2014.
The artifacts are currently on display at AHS branches throughout the state.
The next project for Daniel Buckley Productions involves raising awareness for the historic Anza Trail.
The trail stretches from the missions of Sonorana, Mexico and southern Arizona all the way to San Francisco.
A series of free lectures on topics related to the Anza Trail is coming up, with experts speaking on everything from the legacy of Spanish land grants to the ancient Hohokam tribes, story telling, and the origins of Arizona’s favorite foods.
Daniel Buckley Productions is producing a series of 30 second spots to promote the events, as well as five minute segments with each of the featured lecturers.
The first 30 second segment, with author Greg McNee, is featured below.
Daniel Buckley with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2009.
In conjunction with Tucson’s January 8 Foundation, Daniel Buckley Productions has begun the first phase of oral histories with the people who came to talk with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011 the day she and others were shot in an assassination attempt.
Who were these people? What was on their minds? What brought them there that day? What did they experience? How has it changed their lives?
These are just some of the questions we hope to answer as we conduct in depth interviews with those who were there on that fateful day.
For one month Buckley will conduct interviews with as many witnesses to that day as possible. Additional funding will be sought to expand the project to include the first responders who came to assist immediately after the shooting and those in the surrounding shops who came out to render aid.
These oral histories will become part of the record and collection of artifacts that the January 8 Foundation is compiling. They will eventually be used to shine light on individual aspects of that day, to create short videos to be used in conjunction with materials from the memorial, and perhaps eventually to create a more comprehensive documentary film on January 8 and its aftermath.
This initial work was funded by an anonymous donor.
Samples from the Arizona State Museum pottery display.
A one minute prototype for the Arizona State Museum Iraq archaeology project video is finished.
Sorry, not for public view. This version is just to show the translators what this basically might look and sound like.
They will then translate the spoken English text into several languages, which will later become voice tracks of different versions directed at various geographic and cultural regions.
The video series, produced and scripted by the Arizona State Museum of the University of Arizona, is designed to illustrate best practices for assembling, documenting and archiving archaeological artifacts and necessary support materials. These techniques have been refined over ASM’s 120 year history.
This rough first 1 minute sample segment dealt with the nature of an archaeological collections and basic conventions of nominclature for archiving such a collection.
The series is being created for use by archaeology professionals in Iraq and Afghanistan. The videos and various translations will be completed by November, 2014. Taping on the project began in July, 2014.
The Arizona Historical Society has literally hundreds of thousands of artifacts in its collection, and a big anniversary to mark. The organization turns 150 years old in 2014.
To celebrate the occasion, AHS decided to showcase a carefully selected group of 150 artifacts, turning to its staff and volunteers to suggest items that speak to various aspects of Arizona’s history. And it turned to Daniel Buckley to photograph each item for a publication to be issued later this year.
Buckley has worked with AHS on a number of projects in the past, ranging from documenting the visit of a broadsheet original copy of the Declaration of Independence, to a piece on the history of Geronimo, a film on centennial quilt makers, and a documentary on the history of Yuma, Arizona. In addition AHS has been a collaborative partner in Buckley’s Cine Plaza at the Fox documentary series.
While he photographed all of the 100 quilts for AHS’ centennial celebration, this was the first strictly photographic project that Buckley has done for AHS, and there were significant challenges. The items ranged in size from a WW II training aircraft, a locomotive and a logging truck to the wedding bend that belonged to Wyatt Earp and the tiny beads of a necklace made of paper by those detained in Arizona’s Japanese internment camps. There were relics from the Spanish colonial period, and even the era when France ruled Mexico, along with “modern” items. And the items were spread from AHS branches in Tucson, Flagstaff and Tempe to the Sanguinetti House in Yuma and a printing press on loan in Tubac.
There were cameras used to photograph the building of the state’s great dams, a hatch from the U.S.S. Arizona destroyed at Pearl Harbor, Geronimo’s rifle, costumes from the popular Phoenix children’s show Wallace and Ladmo, a sheepherder’s wagon, an iron lug, a tortilla maker, and the HAMM radio senator Barry Goldwater used to connect troops in Vietnam with their families back home. The collection included items of agriculture and mining, warfare and conquest, fashion, art, medicine, whimsy, culture, crime, transportation, celebration, tragedy, protest, commerce and daily life. Together these items, created and handled by Arizonans of every type and era, tell a compelling story of our state’s history.
Daniel Buckley Productions is proud to have been chosen to document these artifacts for history. Examples from this special collection will be on display at all of the Arizona Historical Society branches in the fall.
This past week Daniel Buckley Productions began a new project in conjunction with the Arizona State Museum to create a series of videos to guide field archaeologists in the proper collection, cataloging and maintenance of significant historical artifacts.
The video series is an extension of lectures and workshops ASM staff has conducted in recent years in war torn countries in conjunction with the U.S. State Department.
The videos will show, step by step, the elements of a properly documented archaeological site collection, and how such collections should be processed and cataloged for future study. This is based on best practices developed and standardized over decades of work in the field by the Arizona State Museum.
Buckley spent three days in mid-July with ASM staff shooting the various checks and balances that ensure that all materials are being processed correctly. Later in the month a voice over in English will be recorded explaining the various steps, and then several months of editing will be spent to generate the first video project.
The intent is for this project is to be translated into various languages for archaeologists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Rwanda first and uploaded to a YouTube or similar internet channel for easy access around the globe. Later similar translations will be created for other languages. A text translation in English will accompany all versions as well.
Throughout the filming process great pains were taken to ensure cultural sensitivity to the customs of the intended countries. The end product videos will be vetted with members of those cultural communities to ensure that nothing was missed.
The project is expected to be ready for distribution in the fall of 2014.
Los Lobos members Cesar Rosas and Conrad Lozano, back, perform with Bulldog Mariachi and Folklorico from Tucson’s White Elementary School.
As production progresses on the documentary The Mariachi Miracle, producer/director Daniel Buckley filmed a very special musical encounter.
While Los Lobos was playing at the Rialto Theatre, April 24, 2014 as part of its 40th anniversary tour, the group invited Tucson’s Bulldog Mariachi and Folklorico from White Elementary School to open for them, then played a number with the youngsters and invited them back to sing “Volver, Volver” song as part of its own set.
Backstage after the concert group members Louie Perez and David Hidalgo talked with Buckley about the collaboration, as well as the impact of youth mariachis across the United States.
Fred Ronstadt, wife Lupe Dalton and their four sons, Gilbert, William, Alfred and Edward.
The Ronstadt Family was honored with the Generations of Commitment Award by Pima Council on Aging at its gala event in April, 2014. Daniel Buckley Productions created the video for the sold-out event.
Since Federico (Fred) Ronstadt arrived in Tucson in 1882, the family has shaped Tucson and Arizona more and more with eah passing generation. Fred created Tucson’s first classical music ensemble (the Club Filarmonico) and was a founding board member of the Tucson Symphony. His daughter, Luisa Espinel was one of Arizona’s first international opera and art song stars. And his grand daughter, Linda Ronstadt, was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Ronstadts have been involved in politics, art, ranching, construction, policy making and so much more. This video tells a bit of the family’s history and impact on Southern Arizona and northern Mexico.