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Documenting the Backlash

Throughout the US and Canada hundreds if not thousands of hate crimes are being reported. Women and children are being beaten, masjids are being firebombed, and, even non Muslims are being affected. So far, two people have been killed in the backlash - a Muslim in Dallas and a Sikh in Mesa, Arizona.

History is being made and Sound Vision will be there to record it from a Muslim perspective. Our society, elected officials and future generations must know what innocent people have gone through. We must also document the heroism and generosity of Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the continent.

Sound Vision is preparing to send professional camera crews to document the worst and the best that has resulted from this tragedy. Here’s how you can get involved. If you’d like to do some recording yourself, please check out our tips for amateur videographers below.

1. E-mail Us Your Story

In the next few weeks, our cameras will be visiting different parts of the country. If you have personally experienced a hate crime, let us know. If you know people who have lost loved ones or who have been helping victims of this tragedy, please contact us. If you or your community have been touched by the caring of others we would like to hear from you. Our address: info@soundvision.

2. Send Us Tapes

If you have documented a hate crime against a Masjid, organization, or individual, please send us your footage. Also, if members of your community have helped out or joined with people of other communities to show their support, send us your tapes. If you plan to shoot a video, see our shooting tips.

Please send the videos to the Sound Vision Foundation. Due to the large volume of tapes anticipated, all tapes become the property of the Sound Vision Foundation. Our address is: P.O. Box 4563, Chicago, IL 60680, USA

3. Call RadioIslam.com

Well known Muslim activist Aminah Assilmi shared her story of escaping an anti-Muslim attack. Let us hear what happened to you. Contact RadioIslam.com and share your story at info@radioislam.com or call us at 708-598-9808.

4. Donate Funds

Help us to ensure that our stories are shown nationally and internationally in as many places as possible. Documentary films on the backlash must be available to all segments of our society. They should be seen on TV and the internet. School children, elected officials and future generations should see them as well. Make a secure online donation to Sound Vision Foundation. All donations in the US are tax-deductible. You can also donate by contacting Sound Vision Foundation. Call us at 1-800-432-4262, fax us at 708-430-1346 or mail in a donation to:

Sound Vision Foundation

P.O. Box 4563

Chicago, IL 60680


Shooting Tips for Amateur Videographers:

1. Use a tripod whenever you can. Many hand-held pictures are too unstable and this distracts the viewer.

2. If you must hold the camera in your hands, make sure you are on a wide angle. The more you zoom in on a handheld shot, the more jittery your picture will be.

3. Make sure you think of the viewer. Often a person will see something and then shoot it. When they begin recording, they tend to move the camera around too quickly. You have already seen the image but the viewer hasn't. Take your time. Make sure you zoom in and zoom out at a relaxed pace.

4. Turn off date and time information after establishing the shot. For professional purposes, the date and time stamp of your camcorder is somewhat annoying. Establish a shot with date and time and then turn it off.

5. Do not shoot into direct lighting sources. Keep the source of light behind the camera and on the subject.

6. Keep the "eyeline" in mind. When shooting a person in an interview, make sure their eye level is consistent with your framing of the shot.

7. Be aware of ambient sound. Air conditioners, refrigerators and fluorescent lights can emit a noise or hum which can create audio problems. Turn them off or shoot in a different space.

8. Note down the information of who or what you are recording. Make sure we know what we are seeing. Proper names, spelling, addresses and other relevant information should be included with your tape.

9. If your camera has adjustable audio levels, make sure the levels are properly set so that you avoid audio distortion.

10. Consumer videotape formats in order of preference are: Mini-DV, Digital 8, Hi-8, S-VHS, VHS and 8 mm. If you're planning to buy a camcorder, three chip cameras have a far better performance than one chip cameras. They are also more expensive.

11. Label all the tapes you shoot and keep them away from objects that emit strong magnetic fields (such as TVs, large audio speakers, microwaves). Do not expose the tapes to excessive heat or large amounts of dust.

12. Some cameras do not begin recording right away. Wait two or three seconds after pushing the "record" button.

13. Pay attention to the camera framing. Make sure that light stands or other unwanted objects are not in your shot. Keep it simple.

14. Make sure your batteries are fully charged. It also helps to have an extension cord handy if you are shooting indoors. Professional camera lights use a lot of amps. Make sure you do not overload a circuit.


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YusufAli Pickthall
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