Documentary Production

Course Description:

This course will provide conceptual and hands-on experience for researching, writing and producing documentary video. This course will emphasize the conceptual processes of documentary production from the idea through production, post-production and into exhibition. Students will produce their own individual short documentary project and learn about the film festival exhibition culture of independent cinema. The course is en excellent opportunity for media makers to consider and develop their conceptual approach to production, take primary control over every step in the production process and leave the course with project for circulation outside of the university.

Course Objectives:

This course has the following objectives:

  • understanding the artistic movements of documentary
  • increasing knowledge relevant to the pre-production process
  • applying methods and concepts to the documentary production process
  • developing skill as a critic, writer, editor, director and researcher
  • acquiring skills to become more effective at festival and art distribution

Required Texts:

Rabiger, Michael. “Directing the Documentary.” Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998

Additional assigned readings focused on the course content will be available on blackboard. Reading about documentary production and theory is an important part of this class. You will NEED your own copy of the reading materials.

Course Meetings:

Each week you are required to attend class on Mondays that will be split between lectures, discussions and lab. During this time we will discuss the foundations and objectives of documentary criticism, theory and history as a springboard into production. You will learn how to become a more informed and articulate critic of documentary film and video.

Course Requirements:

Quizzes                                                                                    Points

Quiz #1                                                                                    100

Quiz # 2                                                                                    100

Description Project                                                                   50

Documentary Proposal                                                            100

Journal Project                                                                          200

Interview Assignment                                                               50

Visual Proposal                                                                         70

Final Project- Doc Short 10-12 minutes (total 400 points)

Peer Critiques                                                                          50

Production Assignments                                                         100

Final Project                                                                             250

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