Student produced documentaries_jsarachan


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

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Student produced documentaries_jsarachan

  1. 1. Student Produced Documentary Videos on the Web<br />Jeremy Sarachan/St. John Fisher CollegeHastac/April 17, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Could pertain to other classes as well<br />Next-core<br />
  3. 3. Documentary and Non-fiction Film<br />Core Class in the Arts<br />Students will have at their disposal ways of identifying the cultural assumptions implicit in artistic representations<br />Students will discern how design or form influences meaning <br />Students will be able to analyze a work from a variety of perspectives (e.g., creative, cultural, critical, aesthetic)<br />Students will produce a creative project (or research paper)<br />Mostly non-majors<br />
  4. 4. COMM 261 Objectives<br />Identify elements that allow a viewer to better understand the visual language of film. These elements include cinematography, editing, and sound.<br />Develop an understanding of the scope and styles of documentary film.<br />Understand how meaning is created in documentary film and how the films can inform, educate, and manipulate an audience.<br />Practice academic and journalistic writing, focused on concise film criticism and analysis.<br />Develop basic skills in documentary video production in order to understand the decisions made by documentary producers.<br />
  5. 5. Documentary Styles<br />Expository Mode<br />Observational Mode<br />Poetic Mode<br />Participatory Mode<br />And others… (cite)<br />
  6. 6. Three steps<br />Pitch<br />Treatment<br />Project<br />Documentary Storytelling by Sheila Curran Bernard. <br />
  7. 7. Pitch<br />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.<br />
  8. 8. Treatment<br />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.<br />
  9. 9. Training<br />Flip Video Cameras: 10 minutes<br />iMovie: 1.5 hours (including lab time)<br />Basic cuts<br />Dissolves<br />Bringing in still photos<br />Using music<br />Text and credits<br />
  10. 10. Project Page 1<br />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. <br />
  11. 11. Project Page 2<br />Students presented to an audience.<br />Wrote a paper about their projects.  <br />
  12. 12. Filming Hints (some)<br />Know how to use your camera<br />Film too much. Get too much footage.<br />Start each shot early and end late.<br />Take time for an establishing shot (inside or outside). Set up time, place, and people. Consider “identifying markers” (signs, iconic structures, etc.)<br />Use long shots, medium shots, and close-ups. <br />Don’t zoom (except maybe cinema verité—occasionally.)<br />DON’T MOVE THE CAMERA (too much)—consider a tripod<br />
  13. 13. Why it was effective.<br />Provided students complete choice of topics<br />Frequently discussed (and allowed students to discuss) ideas<br />Emphasized public aspect of YouTube<br />Discussed issues of fair use<br />Reviewed legal use of music<br />Acknowledged difficulty of project and confidence in students<br />
  14. 14. The Videos<br />Eighty-Eight<br /><br />Corn Husking Bee<br /><br />
  15. 15. COMM 260 Experiment<br />All-in-one class<br />Digital Media Issues (texting/Facebook)<br />Had previously learned tools<br />Great for collaborative work/use of social media<br />
  16. 16. Thank you.<br />Please feel free to e-mail me with questions<br />Jeremy Sarachan<br />(Jarold String in SL)<br /><br />On Facebook<br />