Tag Archives: Documentary film

History of House | Pump Up The Volume Documentary (Watch the Entire Film)

So a few weeks ago I was talking to this guy (dating I suppose, but I decided to stay single) and we had a conversation about music. He was one of those people that was born & raised in Maryland right outside of D.C., so he apparently didn’t know too much about music outside of the usual hip-hop, gogo, and Baltimore club. Not to say that everyone that stays in one spot their entire life lacks musical diversity, but he was clearly unaware & ignorant to my passion; love for house music.

House music is my life. Seriously, I am madly in love with house music and have been for over a decade now (and I’m only 20.) So when I meet people and they ask me what type of music I listen to, I’m usually excited to tell them about house music. But when they respond with such ignorance like that guy did, and say “Oh, you listen to that Baltimore club shit. You know that shit, techno shit,” I got super offended. Number one, I can’t stand when people repeatedly use “shit” to describe everything. Eww, shut up. Secondly, the absurdity of him saying that house music is Baltimore club, and that is basically techno, really pissed me off. Baltimore club isn’t techno & it’s not “shit.” And yes, Baltimore club has some elements of house, but it’s a unique genre of music that is in a class of its own.

I don’t really blame people for not being aware of house music or understanding it, especially with so much dance music being produced in the mainstream music scene. I mean think about it, it seems every rapper or singer is stepping away from their genre and trying to make a hit dance track. So I don’t really blame people for being oblivious to house & the history of house, but I do blame them for their rapid ignorance when I begin trying to explain it. They just don’t get it, and explaining the history of house (which I studied when I first fell in love with house) is something that I’d rather show them than tell them. Which at a certain point involves grabbing my Macbook and going to YouTube to sit down and watch the entire documentary Pump Up The Volume: History of House.

I’m not quite sure why in the past two years of having this blog & writing so much about house music, I never posted the documentary. I’ve watched it twice a few years ago, and I love how it gives you an in-depth history of house. It features some great interviews from Paul Okenfold, Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Goldie, The Shamen, Leftfield, Underworld, Youth, Tony Wilson, and Armin van Helden . In the midst of the interviews you also get to see the the evolution of house, as well as other genres in the electronic dance music category and how they are all interrelated; one genre usually inspires another, so forth & so forth.

I highly recommend watching this entire film, especially if you’re a house music junkie. But for those of who you who don’t understand house or not quite sure why people love it, then watch the documentary. It’s a great documentary that sheds light on the history of house, why people love house, and even the social constructs that makeup house; social awareness & acceptance of all races, sexual orientations, and ages are some defining aspects of house. It’s a music of universal acceptance, which is why I love house so much.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

My Final Thoughts on Multimedia Composition

Those of you who have been reading my blog throughout the summer, may recall the few posts related to my multimedia composition class. They may have appeared random, but they were apart of my Engl 3084 class online with the University of Colorado.

I came into the class with an expectation of not knowing much about multimedia, but all my experience in film, writing, art, and design proved to be beneficial. I learned how to take my wide range of skills and apply them to meaningful subjects, which is why I love my blog so much. The class made me appreciate my blog much more and the power of media to spread a message.

Overall the class was a great learning experience and it really gave me a chance to highlight my skills in multimedia. I’ve taken film classes, art classes, theatre classes, english classes, and I’ve had so many experiences with utilizing visuals to make a statement. Even though my passion in life is writing, it never hurts to be a well rounded individual. You never know when you’re going to be in a position that entails you to use film, writing, math, art, and even persuasive speeches. Anything and everything will work together to make a solid statement.

All the classes I’ve taken throughout my years in college have molded me into a media junkie. I take every aspect of different classes and lessons, then I apply them to my approach to life and blogging. Multimedia composition was one of those classes where I had the chance to use visuals to explore various topics. I would have never thought of making a documentary about my brother, but the class assignment became the perfect opportunity for my brother to share his message.

I’m glad the summer semester is over, even though I did enjoy every moment of class. I’m excited about focusing more on writing in all my fall english classes, but I know the multimedia skills I have will be used in the near future. Maybe one day I can become a media warlord. That’s the purpose of my blog, to shed light on all forms of media and create a haven for other media junkies and urban nomads.

ENGL 3084: Final Visual Narrative and Documentary

McGee, Visual Narrative

Earlier in the semester we worked on visual narratives and it was fun! I had the chance to go down memory lane and talk about my move from Denver back home to the DMV. I’m glad to be back home and I don’t really miss Colorado too much.

Here is my visual narrative called “The Urban Nomad.” Be sure to check out the PDF and let me know your thoughts!

Below is also the final documentary about my brother Jamile McGee and his life after So You Think You Can Dance. I had a great time filming with him and the family, but I’m glad the process is finally done.

Reflective Post: Up Close and Personal with Life After Reality TV

While working on my rough draft of my documentary about life after reality television, I realized that there weren’t many documentaries on this subject. Throughout the course of my documentary I’ve had the position as an insider on my subject. Over the years I’ve seen my brother’s career rise and dealt with the “So You Think You Can Dance?” obsession from outsiders.

I can recall so many encounters with people obsessed with SYTYCD and individuals who were hungry to have their 15 minutes of fame. It’s sad to see how many people are willing to do anything in order to have their time in the spotlight, even if that means attempting to ride off the coats of others. Even though my brother has achieved a certain amount of acknowledgement in the dance/entertainment industry, I’ve never been the type of person to just ride off his success.

My role in this documentary and in my interactions with my brother’s dance career and “15 minutes of fame,” has been a role of support and knowledge. I aim to let others know about the reality of a dancers life and how shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance?” only help a dancer so much in their career. Being on a show like that doesn’t guarantee success and it shouldn’t be the main mission for a dancer. In my documentary Jamile briefly talked about how he strives to make a name for himself that is based upon his amazing talent and character, not riding off the SYTYCD claim to fame.

I gathered quite a bit of material for my documentary but had to shorten it in order to meet appropriate time length for my Multimedia Composition class. This topic of a dancers life and coming off a reality show, is a topic that can easily be an hour long documentary. I’ve collected a lot of footage as an insider on this topic, but one day it would be interesting to possibly talk to other dancers as well. I haven’t felt any discomfort when discussing the subject and shedding light on the reality of the aftermath following reality television. It’s been fascinating!

My hope is that people will begin to discuss more about reality television and the truth about being on season 1 of “So You Think You Can Dance?” It’s a shame how so many of the dancers from the first season have sort of been forgotten by the producers, yet they have had successful careers around the world. Interesting…


Reflective Post: Life After Reality Television

As I approach the final two weeks of summer classes, I’ve begun preparation for my documentary. I’ve chosen to do a documentary about my brother Jamile McGee and his life after being on “So You Think You Can Dance?” In 2005 he wowed audiences with his amazing dances moves on the first season of SYTYCD and six years later he has a wife, a passion for choreography, and a dream to live a stable yet exciting life.

I found this subject interesting because many people over the years have always asked me about his career and what it’s like having a brother that is rich. Whenever people find out my brother was on SYTYCD, they always assume his must be rolling in money. The life of a dancer is one that has it’s up and downs; the glitz and glamor of reality television don’t ensure riches.

I personally know a lot of my subject for my documentary; I mean come on now, I am his only sister. I’ve helped him out a great deal. From managing his social media sites, networking, helping him with his website, and just being a support system; I’ve been there through all the years.  Within the allotted time I will inquire about life after reality television and show my audience that reality tv doesn’t guarantee fame or happiness.

This documentary is going to be concise. I have done some research about life after reality tv and also this obsession with desiring fame. So many people want to be in the public eye and be famous, but it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Reality television sucks. It’s fun to watch but the aftermath is brutal. The great thing about Jamile is the fact he never planned on being on reality television. He just happened to audition and from there things took off. He doesn’t like to live off his “So You Think You Can Dance?” days, he prefers to make a name for himself as a choreographer, husband, and a normal guy that loves to dance.

He may have toured all over the world, petted lions, eating fine cuisine and stayed in luxury hotels, but he is still a normal person. Jamile doesn’t have a lingering desire to be famous or on a reality show again, he just wants to make money and build a life for him and his wife.Now that’s reality.

©Jasmine McGee





Reflective Blog Post:The Genre of Documentary

After receiving feedback on my visual narrative, I decided to stick with the theme of urban nomads for our upcoming assignment. The next project in my English 3084 class is a Multimedia Documentary. I’ve never had the chance to work on a documentary, but I’ve always had this desire to film one.

The genre of Multimedia Documentary is an innovative outlet for creative expression. Documentaries allow you to take a simple concept and expand on it through various perspectives. The usage of multimedia allows the creator to carefully and critically use multiple elements of media to convey a message. If executed properly, a multimedia documentary can literally change someone’s train of thought and viewpoint on a certain topic.

I’ve personally always been a huge fan of documentaries and since the addition of Netflix Instant Streaming on my Ps3; I’ve been able to watch an immense amount of thought provoking documentaries. Documentaries are an important genre in film due to their ability to reach national audience. I have the option of traveling the world and experiencing another lifestyle without having to leave the comfort of my home. Of course, I am a huge fan of traveling and experiencing other cultures; but documentaries are a powerful and educational insight into topics that may be foreign to my daily happenings.

This week in out Multimedia Composition class, I had the chance to view some documentaries produced by students at the University of Colorado (the school I attend.) It was amazing seeing how much information can be packed into a small amount of time. The documentaries were concise and informational, as well as inspirational. It’s important for everyone to find an outlet for their beliefs and passion in life. Whether it’s through art, music, film, dance, writing, and other forms of creative expression; it’s important that you express how viewpoints on life.

I’m looking forward to begin working on my Multimedia Documentary and exploring the concept of life after reality television. I think it’s important that people realize what life is like after being a reality television sensation and a multimedia documentary is the best way to shed light on this topic. I plan on watching some more documentaries this weekend on Netflix and hopefully gaining more inspiration.

©Jasmine McGee