Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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The MIT Judo Club

The MIT Judo Club is a club that I feel many people do not know about, despite it being one of the oldest clubs at MIT. I made this video to share with people what Judo is and what MIT's Judo club means to its members.

Comments (10)

So the main thing that disappointed me about this piece is that it was exceptionally slow moving. I know that Judo is a relatively slow, strategic style, but it is a martial art just the same, and has that stigma of being fast. A faster paced piece would have been more suitable. Along those lines, I would have liked to see more sparring clips (and more intensive). Early on, I think the practice shots were great, but as it progressed, would have liked to see the energy shoot up.

Positives: it was a very informative piece. You delivered a lot of information in concise, and entertaining manner. Your editing choices were appropriate and aesthetically peaceful. I liked your opening shot. And your choice to maintain with mostly one narrative voice (Riccardo).

Posted over 2 years by rlwood@mit.edu

I really liked this piece. It was very visually interesting, especially in the first few shots. It also gave me a really good sense of the club as well as the people which make it up. Beyond all of this it was also just really informative, which is good to see in a documentary. Also the credits, and extreme close ups in the interviews were nice, and made it fun to watch.

Things that didn’t work as well were mostly technical I felt. Most obviously the audio drops during the interviews or whenever someone was thrown to the mat. I feel it would have been better to leave these in. The transitions between a few parts could also use a little polishing, but were generally good. Finally I may have just missed it, but the ending seemed a little abrupt, a little more lead in to it would have been good.

Overall, very well done, I liked it.

Posted over 2 years by zacht

I think this piece did a really good job with the narrative. The structure was very well thought out and the piece’s shots contributed well to the story line. Unlike some of the past pieces, it was very clear that this was an expose of the judo team and not of any individual member or idea. The background narrative as well as the individual interviews were really great. I also thought the jump shots were well placed.

The audio drops, while well intended were really jarring- more so I think than if you had left them in. Additionally, it could help set the scene well if you left them in as long as they didn’t drown out the audio. There was one very obvious transition that was very jarring. Next time, maybe focus on the technical aspects a bit more. But, great job with the narrative structure.

Posted over 2 years by jhaskins@mit.edu

The first thing that struck me in the film was the overall calmness of the mood.  And then, I’d see someone get thrown down and here a loud thud. That recursive thud was a great theme in the film because it exemplified the resilience Judo requires. Whether it was intentional or unintentional I like the earthy colour tones of your film, which includes the prevalent use of brown and whites. I loved the contrast of the smooth, calming colours and sounds to the sometimes violent action scenes. I also liked how you took the initiative to interview a wide variety of people, especially when you juxtaposed them into a scene where they all said the same thing. That in itself gave a sense of volume and teamwork, rather, a sense that there are a lot of people in the Judo club who work together to improve their skills collectively. The comic relief of the person who said he had only done judo for one day helped to break up the monotony of interviews, and it was well received. You got some great shots over all as well as a great variety of shots, ranging from close ups to overheads to wide shots. At the end, I really liked how you faded to the credits with the periodic boom of a person being flipped over; it added seriousness to the piece as well as a sense of conclusion.  
The video, for some reason, seemed longer than it was; I’d increase the pace of the editing for some scenes to help make it more interesting. I liked the fact that there was no music, because it added seriousness to the piece; however, some interviews seemed to drag on. Maybe cut these scenes into sections, and between each section, add a sparring scene or a scene entirely dictated by the sound of the clip itself. Another thing I noticed was that in some of your action scenes, you partially cut the subject out of the frame. Next time, I would take wider shots, or put the subject at the centre, so that if they move, you’ll have a chance to follow them. Otherwise, great job!

Posted over 2 years by sguitron@mit.edu

Frist off, I really liked this documentary. I thought you did an excellent job telling the story of the MIT Judo Club. The brief overview of the club, followed by personal interviews with each character gave the documentary breadth and depth. Very nicely done. I particularly enjoyed the section in which you jumped from person to person each stating their name. It gave a “common person” face to the group. Your individual interviews near the end also helped make the Judo club specific to MIT. I certainly related the reasons behind each team member’s decision to do Judo, or why they enjoyed it so much. Nice job splicing everything together.

As was said in class, the audio could have been better to bring out the details of what each person was saying. I do think you worked well with the limitations of the Flip cam. Your ending was nicely done. I think the rhythmic sounds of people hitting the floor brought out the repetitive practicing nature of Judo. At the very end, I was waiting for the last sound of the last person hitting the floor. I was really satisfied when I did hear it. I’m not sure how I felt about the fact that it was faded out a bit. I may have preferred for the sound to be loud and like a final “hit” before the documentary ends.

Posted over 2 years by znelson@mit.edu

I enjoyed and learned from the variety of techniques you used to engage the audience throughout the documentary. The first shot was very cool, as being a low-angle shot showing an elegant Judo bow emphasized the honor involved in Judo as a sport. Having Riccardo’s voice over this first shot also helped in both visually and verbally introducing Judo. What disappointed me though was that the first shot was not continued and the cut to Riccardo’s face abruptly broke the serenity of the elegant bow. I think that having continued the first shot to follow the person bowing as they engaged in a Judo match would have given a complete introductory picture of Judo with Riccardo explaining the sport in the background audio as well. On a side note, I would suggest only having Riccardo’s title shown in the first shot of him as having the big title beneath his face throughout the documentary was a bit distracting. Lowering the title strip a bit would lessen its distractive effect.
Since it seems that a lot of the focus in Judo is on footwork, I thought that you made a smart choice to include low-angle shots with camera on the ground, showing the intricate footwork by the team members on the mat. I also liked how you included a photo from the newspaper about the finding of the Judo club at MIT. This made the history being told come live to me. Including more such photos while Riccardo speaks about aspects of Judo that you could not capture through the current practices would be useful as well.
The narrative was straight forward as it was chronologically organized. We first learned about the history of Judo and also the MIT club. Then, about what a Judo match is like. Finally, we get introduced to the MIT Judo club members who make up the team. We move from general to specific, which made sense.
My favorite section was where each team member was introduced back to back. Creating a back to back rhythm that was different from the normal prior rhythm of the documentary resulted in increased engagement for me. Putting the introductions back to back also highlighted the varied Judo backgrounds of the individuals. Continuation of this rhythm as each individual talked about what the Judo club meant for them led nicely into the back to back smack downs that ended the documentary.

Posted over 2 years by sahar_h@mit.edu

I really liked the nice cycle of short interviews. It gave a good breadth of opinions on the topic. The fast pace also kept me interested in what the Judo club was about. The piece grabbed my attention from the beginning when Ricardo starts recounting the history of Judo. The ending also left a good impression with the rhythmic sound of Judo members getting thrown to the ground. I liked how you used a newspaper clipping when the history of the Judo Club rolls in the audio background. There was also a good diversity of shot angles.

Ricardo’s voice started losing me as the piece progressed because it felt like a really long scene even though the video scenes changed. The history of the Judo Club didn’t stress why the club was unique or special. It’s a slow piece in general due to maybe the pacing or the interview speeds. Maybe that was the effect you intended.

Posted over 2 years by ray_li@mit.edu

I love the beginning of this film — it’s well constructed and shot. It really gives a start to this piece and introduces Judo without any text. I also love the quietness of this piece — there was no emphasis on the high adrenaline of Judo, giving it this quiet, dignified quality. It really allowed me to see how Judo was a release from the stress of daily life, and how martial arts gave each member some form of personal enrichment beyond the physical.

One thing I didn’t enjoy is the framing of this piece. The aspect ratio seems somewhat off, and I generally prefer the widescreen aspect ratio. Also, I feel like Ricardo’s interview dragged a bit too long. At some point I tuned out of dialogue and realised when I came back in I didn’t miss a whole ton of information.

Posted over 2 years by vsun@mit.edu

The first thing I really enjoyed about this video was the job you did laying audio over the video you shot. You constructed the piece well with that technique. The man you interviewed helped create a narrative that had a nice flow. It was easy to follow and it kept me interested. I also liked the contrast between the various members, it gave a nice view of what this place was really like.
At times I found the lighting and speed of the piece to be lacking. It slowed the action down at times and took some of the life out of the piece that I thought should maintain high energy throughout.

Posted 2 years by austing@mit.edu

I really loved the introductory shot of this piece as well as the short questions and answers that effectively conveyed the diversity of the club. I got a good sense of what the MIT Judo Club was like specifically, and I appreciated the simplicity of the narrative structure.

I would have liked to see a wider variety of camera angles and a more intimate look at the sport itself. As someone who knows very little about Judo, I didn’t learn much about it after watching the piece. I know many people commented on the apparent “lack of energy”, but perhaps that is just the character of Judo?

Posted 2 years by ndou@mit.edu

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Michael Desanker

Michael Desanker

Updated almost 2 years ago

Created
March 12, 2012 17:33
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