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Student produced documentaries_jsarachan


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A talk given in Second Life for the Hastac Grand Challenges conference in April 2010.

A talk given in Second Life for the Hastac Grand Challenges conference in April 2010.

Published in: Education

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  • 2) Not all Michael Moore: History Channel Morgan Spurlock5) To understand
  • 4) Moore or Super Size MeNight and Fog The Poetic Mode ('reassembling fragments of the world', a transformation of historical material into a more abstract, lyrical form, usually associated with 1920s and modernist ideas)The Expository Mode ('direct address', social issues assembled into an argumentative frame, mediated by a voice-of-God narration, associated with 1920s-1930s, and some of the rhetoric and polemic surrounding WW2) The Observational Mode (as technology advanced by the 1960s and cameras became smaller and lighter, able to document life in a less intrusive manner, there is less control required over lighting etc, leaving the social actors free to act and the documentarists free to record without interacting with each other)The Participatory Mode (the encounter between film-maker and subject is recorded, as the film-maker actively engages with the situation they are documenting, asking questions of their subjects, sharing experiences with them. Heavily reliant on the honesty of witnesses)The Reflexive Mode (demonstrates consciousness of the process of reading documentary, and engages actively with the issues of realism and representation, acknowledging the presence of the viewer and the modality judgements they arrive at. Corresponds to critical theory of the 1980s) Aware of itself as a documentary—uses actors? Stags scenes? The Performative Mode (acknowledges the emotional and subjective aspects of documentary, and presents ideas as part of a context, having different meanings for different people, often autobiographical in nature) A member of a minority group using him or herself as an example—personal and sometimes avant-garde Tongues United
  • Film Every Week. Paper every week. Syllabus is available on Wave.
  • Native American Event, friends who get very drunk, why violence in hockey is necessary. A debate among math professors about how calculus should be taught5) People don’t realize how much time it takes.
  • Friends drinking too much. Debate style that calculusshould be taught, hockey needs to be violent: student filmed tv. Used fair use of hockey games.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Student Produced Documentary Videos on the Web
      Jeremy Sarachan/St. John Fisher CollegeHastac/April 17, 2010
    • 2. Could pertain to other classes as well
    • 3. Documentary and Non-fiction Film
      Core Class in the Arts
      Students will have at their disposal ways of identifying the cultural assumptions implicit in artistic representations
      Students will discern how design or form influences meaning
      Students will be able to analyze a work from a variety of perspectives (e.g., creative, cultural, critical, aesthetic)
      Students will produce a creative project (or research paper)
      Mostly non-majors
    • 4. COMM 261 Objectives
      Identify elements that allow a viewer to better understand the visual language of film. These elements include cinematography, editing, and sound.
      Develop an understanding of the scope and styles of documentary film.
      Understand how meaning is created in documentary film and how the films can inform, educate, and manipulate an audience.
      Practice academic and journalistic writing, focused on concise film criticism and analysis.
      Develop basic skills in documentary video production in order to understand the decisions made by documentary producers.
    • 5. Documentary Styles
      Expository Mode
      Observational Mode
      Poetic Mode
      Participatory Mode
      And others… (cite)
    • 6. Three steps
      Documentary Storytelling by Sheila Curran Bernard.
    • 7. Pitch
      Pitch your documentary in written form.  Include the following items:1) Introduction to the subject2) Rationale for the project3) Goals and objectives for the project4) Technical/stylistic elements.  (What camera are you using and which mode are you following?)5) Plan of work/timeline broken down by weeks until the assignment is due.6) One paragraph description.  Include the beginning, middle and end of your project.Approximately 3 pages.
    • 8. Treatment
      You will write an outline or treatment of your documentary. Include as much information as possible at this time.  For some films, minimal information may be available.  Nonetheless, you should (at least) divide your video into three acts. If you have developed specific narration, you should include it. Attach the outline/treatment as a word document.  1-4 pages.
    • 9. Training
      Flip Video Cameras: 10 minutes
      iMovie: 1.5 hours (including lab time)
      Basic cuts
      Bringing in still photos
      Using music
      Text and credits
    • 10. Project Page 1
      Students will create a 4-6 minute video that must be placed on YouTube.  The video must: 1) Represent work primarily done by the student, including writing, directing and editing.  Each student may ask someone else to appear on camera or narrate, if applicable, or assist with the camera. 2) Make an argument and present evidence with a clear thesis (rather than being purely informational.)  This need not be confrontational or debated: "soldiers suffered horribly during the Civil War" would be acceptable.  A video on how to cook muffins would not be. 3) Follow one or more of the documentary modes we discussed in class: Poetic Mode, Expository Mode, Observational Mode, Participatory Mode, Reflexive Mode, Performative Mode. 4) Be honest and truthful with the facts, although perhaps somewhat biased in its presentation/editing (as many documentaries are.) 5) Feature appropriate and reasonable production values.  Video should not be blurry and audio must be intelligible.
    • 11. Project Page 2
      Students presented to an audience.
      Wrote a paper about their projects. 
    • 12. Filming Hints (some)
      Know how to use your camera
      Film too much. Get too much footage.
      Start each shot early and end late.
      Take time for an establishing shot (inside or outside). Set up time, place, and people. Consider “identifying markers” (signs, iconic structures, etc.)
      Use long shots, medium shots, and close-ups.
      Don’t zoom (except maybe cinema verité—occasionally.)
      DON’T MOVE THE CAMERA (too much)—consider a tripod
    • 13. Why it was effective.
      Provided students complete choice of topics
      Frequently discussed (and allowed students to discuss) ideas
      Emphasized public aspect of YouTube
      Discussed issues of fair use
      Reviewed legal use of music
      Acknowledged difficulty of project and confidence in students
    • 14. The Videos
      Corn Husking Bee
    • 15. COMM 260 Experiment
      All-in-one class
      Digital Media Issues (texting/Facebook)
      Had previously learned tools
      Great for collaborative work/use of social media
    • 16. Thank you.
      Please feel free to e-mail me with questions
      Jeremy Sarachan
      (Jarold String in SL)
      On Facebook