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What Makes Us Tic | Tourette Syndrome Documentary

by Bella Thomson
(Canada)

December 5, 2013 - I am actually a high school filmmaker, but I am currently working on an hour-long documentary about Tourette Syndrome. It may sound crazy, but I produced the half hour pilot version of the documentary in grade nine!

I am very passionate about filmmaking, as well as raising awareness for Tourette Syndrome, so I am very happy to be working on a project in which I can combine both!

I didn't discover your website until last summer when I was planning my full film, but once I did I felt saved! There is so much useful information on there that is very helpful for my project! I salute all of the work you have done :-)

I look forward to learning even more from your website, and would be happy to send you a copy of my film when it is finished! In the meantime, here is the pilot version of the film on YouTube!



Please let me know what you think.

UPDATE! Jan. 27, 2014 - Please see my IndieGoGo campaign for "What Makes Us Tic". http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/what-makes-us-tic

Comments for What Makes Us Tic | Tourette Syndrome Documentary

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Jan 27, 2014
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Thank you Bella
by: Desktop Documentaries (Faith)

Thanks so much for introducing yourself and sharing your documentary. What an amazing project you're working on!

I'm VERY impressed with what you've done so far. The opening sequence is very engaging. I really like you're choice of music and the way you slowly bring the audience into your "world" with simple questions.

You are already proving yourself to be a wonderful storyteller. One small suggestion that can make a dramatic difference is to use a microphone on your next film for interviews. Maybe you have already figured that out for yourself?

But again, you are off to a great start.

Yes, of course, please do share your final film with us here on this page when it's done!

Jan 27, 2014
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Filming tips for Bella Thompson
by: James

Hello Bella, Thank you for posting your video and sharing it. You have a great idea for your production about TS. However, there are a few changes that would really help. First and foremost, a good quality microphone other than the onboard camera mic. If you can attain a good microphone with a boom, that would be very helpful. Wireless, or lavaliere mics are also good and provide much better sound. If shooting outdoors, a microphone with a good windscreen is vital, especially on windy days. I watched some of your video and noticed sound was in considerable need of improvement. The young lady talking outside, could not be understood because she was being drowned out by the wind hitting the onboard camera mic. The young fella talking indoors, didn't sound too good because he was too far away from the onboard camera mic.

Do you see where I'm going here? Your camera work is very good! It looks as though you used a tripod, excellent! Tripod mounted cameras offer the best and steadiest footage when filming.

Moving the camera closer to your subjects would help your cause greatly if you don't have access to a separate microphone. You can also use the "Rule of Thirds" when framing your subjects. You can cut off part of the top of their head and frame the face either to the left, or to the right of the screen, with their nose faced toward the center as they speak.

Last and most important of all, listen to Faith, the owner and creator of "Desktop Documentaries." She is a master at documentary filmmaking and knows all the ins and outs of documentary filmmaking. She can offer great advice on how to film. Look through all of her links here. There are a host of informational links that provide in-depth info to any beginning filmmaker and videographer. Information that includes "Getting Started" in film and video. She outlines and shows you everything you need in order to get a great start for filming, and provides a complete list of the equipment needed for good filmmaking. Video and Film are both still, filmmaking regardless. Look through her "Documentary basics, and the Documentary Tips" link sections. There is nothing that you need that is not here. Faith has generously provided a plethora of free tips, links and useful information to any up and coming filmmaker and even the wannabe.

Lastly, there have been numerous films and documentaries about Turret's syndrome and there is a lot of information about the condition published by the medical establishment. But very little of it has been attempted by someone so young. I commend you and your friends for taking this on. Good Luck!

Jan 27, 2014
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thank you!!
by: Bella

Thank you for all the comments. I'm glad you like my project! Everything in this project is student-produced, so I am pretty proud of this project, and everything it's accomplished so far! In fact, the score was actually produced for the documentary by another student, which had such a big impact on the film!

And I do know about the microphone and sound issue. This film was produced on a completely zero dollar budget, and I worked mostly off of equipment at my school, but we were missing quite a few crucial items. So this time around I am taking the time to get funding for better equipment, as well as to fund a couple of shooting trips that will broaden the range of footage in the film!

Thank you for posting my project on your website! I think it is awesome how you have so many interesting stories and films on your site to inspire others, I am grateful to be part of that!

Jan 27, 2014
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Keep it up
by: Desktop Documentaries (Faith)

Yes, Bella, you should feel very proud of what you've accomplished. Many adults can't pull off what you've done. So congratulations on a job well done! And yes, budgets are a very real issue.. and you did the right thing to just get started and not wait to have everything "perfect" otherwise you might wait for a long time. At least now you have something to show that can help you get funding in the future.

Jan 30, 2014
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IndieGoGo campaign launched! NEW
by: Bella

I just wanted to let you know about an Indiegogo Campiagn I am currently running for my Tourette Syndrome documentary! I would love it if you could check it out and maybe share it with the people you know! In addition, if you have any tips for improving my campaign in any way, I would love to hear them!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/what-makes-us-tic

Jan 30, 2014
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IndieGoGo campaign NEW
by: Desktop Documentaries (Faith)

Congratulations on launching your campaign! That's fantastic!
I checked out your page and it's really well written, well done!

My only suggestion is regarding "marketing" tips. Make sure to contact everyone you can think of in the Tourette Syndrome community (not just Canada, but also the US).

Get the associations and clubs to send out a notice in the e-newsletters. Go speak to groups at their club meetings and ask for their support. Once you find people in these organizations who want to support you, ask them for advice on who else you should contact. Ask people of influence to be on your fundraising team!

Jan 30, 2014
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marketing NEW
by: Bella

Thank you so much, you have been so helpful and supportive! Yes, I have been trying to contact as many people as I can about my campaign, and my video teacher is going to help me contact our local media about it as well!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/what-makes-us-tic

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