Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Located in Portland, Maine, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers a 15-week immersion program for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in documentary writing, photography, or radio.
This blog is an update of current Salt students insights and musings.


I bet you're wondering where we've been.

Yeah, the blog's looking a little sleepy lately, but don't let that fool you. Sleep definitely isn't in our vocabulary these days. With all the really substantial due dates, pieces to produce, radio tours and group critiques, I don't think I've really slept for days. Well, slept on purpose, at least. There have been many nights in the past few weeks where I wake up face down in a pile of my transcripts and wonder where I am for a minute. Sometimes, thankfully, it's in my own bedroom. On other, more merciless days, I wake up at a coffee shop or drooling on my desk at Salt.

What do I dream about? Well, have you ever fallen asleep after playing Tetris, only to dream that you're playing more Tetris? Well, that's kinda what happens when I work in pro-tools. I spend hours and hours tweaking regions, cross-fading dialogue with ambient sounds, cropping and moving and copying until, finally, all I can see are the brightly colored regions behind my eyelids. Sometimes, as I fall asleep, I actually HEAR the quotes I've been playing with all day. And in my sleep, I dream about how I can edit them in pro-tools to make a better piece. I once dreamt my subject called me back and told me the story I've been dying to hear from her all semester. Then I dreamt I edited it together, only to wake up and realize I was still on my first draft.

I talked to a couple of other radio students about this phenomenon, and they said they'd dreamt about pro-tools, too. A lot of them see the regions and waveforms in their sleep. One of them said she'd talked about her story so much that even her boyfriend was dreaming about her piece.

Sometimes I think that if our subjects only knew how much we thought about the time we spend with them and how long we stare at and analyze it, they'd appreciate us more. Maybe they'd even let us into their lives a little further. Other days I think it's best they don't know. If they realized I was hearing and seeing our interactions in my sleep, they might not ever let me come back.

No comments: