Course syllabus

 

arts-logo.png

SCREEN 300: Documentary Video Making

SEMESTER 1, 2018

15 points


videographer

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Instead of crafting scenarios and characters wholly produced by their imagination, documentary filmmakers tell stories by looking to the world around them. This course teaches students how to make a short documentary. They will be encouraged to tell stories based in and of the world they inhabit rather than the one they conjure up. Students will identify, research and develop a documentary project. Some of these projects will be selected to go in to production. Working in groups of four, students will take responsibility for various creative and technical roles. Each student will edit their own film. The course involves collaboration and the capacity to work independently. Students will develop a range of skills that are fundamental to the craft of non-fiction filmmaking. Some of these skills include how to recognise and construct narrative, how to tell a story visually, how to respond nimbly and creatively to events unfolding in real time, and how to negotiate with people. Basic technical proficiency with respect to cinematography, sound and editing is expected but some class time will be spent on technical instruction.

 

Class time:

Thursdays 10-1

Room:

201E-149

Course Convenor:

Sarina Pearson

Office:

201E [School of Social Sciences Building] - 523

Phone:

373-7599 ext. 88900

Email:

s.pearson@auckland.ac.nz

Office Hours:

Thursdays 2-3:30 (during the teaching term)

Technician:

Martin Hansen

Phone:

373-7599 ext. 84596

Email:

m.hansen@auckland.ac.nz

 

Arts 1 Building, FTVMS Technician’s Offices 1st floor

 Class Rep: Mariah Medel  mmed@aucklanduni.ac.nz

 

COURSE SCHEDULE 

PLEASE SEE MODULES FOR WEEKLY READINGS

 

WEEK 1 (MARCH 1)

INTRODUCTIONS/COURSE OVERVIEW/FINDING STORIES

 

WEEK 2 (MARCH 8)

DEVELOPING STORIES

HOW TO RESEARCH

ADVANCING A POINT OF VIEW

WORKING HYPOTHESES

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

CAMERA: MENUS & SETTINGS

 

WEEK 3 (MARCH 15)

WRITING PROPOSALS & PITCHING IDEAS

CAMERA: IMAGE CONTROL/AVAILABLE LIGHT SHOOTING

 

WEEK 4 (MARCH 22)

PROPOSALS DUE

PITCHES IN CLASS

UNDERGRADUATE EDITING SUITE

 

WEEK 5 (MARCH 29)

PREPRODUCTION

RECORDING SOUND

 

WEEK 6 (APRIL 19)

PREPRODUCTION PRESENTATIONS SHOOT 1

POST-PRODUCTION WORKFLOW

 

WEEK 7 (APRIL 26)

DAILIES PRESENTATION SHOOT 1

PREMIERE PRO  REFRESHER

 

WEEK 8 (MAY 3)

PREPRODUCTION PRESENTATON SHOOT 2

EDITING TECHNIQUE, NARRATIVE STRUCTURE, & THE CUT

 

WEEK 9 (MAY 10)

DAILIES PRESENTATION SHOOT 2

SOUND DESIGN

SPEED DATING COMPOSERS

 

WEEK 10 (MAY 17)

ASSEMBLE EDITS (INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS)

COMPOSITION BRIEF DUE

 

WEEK 11 (MAY 24)

ROUGH CUTS (INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS)

 

WEEK 12 (MAY 31)

SCREEN FINE CUTS – FEEDBACK

COURSE WIND UP

 

FINAL PROJECT & PRODUCTION NOTEBOOK DUE JUNE 15

 

CLASS SCREENING TBD JUNE 18-JUNE 22

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Class Participation: Attendance is expected. We have 12 classes in which to cover a significant amount of material. If you miss class you will be at a distinct disadvantage. A significant component of the assessments take place in class time and your learning is based not only on your own efforts but your exposure and engagement to your peers’ efforts as well. Therefore, it will be difficult to ‘make’ up components of the course. If you are genuinely ill please stay home but otherwise you will be expected in class.

 

Readings: Students will be assigned readings throughout the semester under MODULES on CANVAS. Please come to class prepared. Readings provide important contextual background, they reinforce lecture material and they will be relevant to your assessments. I will also provide a bibliography of further reading. Students are expected to take the initiative to read more widely than the articles specified in the course reader.

 

Required Textbook: Michael Rabiger (2014) Directing the Documentary, 6th edition Focal Press: New York. The required readings area available online from the library. Hard copies are also for purchase from UBS. 

 

Screenings: Periodically we will see excerpts from documentaries. These will be available from the General Library and/or online.

 

Equipment:

Gear Loanout hours are Monday - Friday, 10am to 1pm.  A blank gear loanout form is available under MODULES.  Contact media technician t.signal@auckland.ac.nz to arrange a date and negotiate a pick-up time; pick-up times must be confirmed by the media technician.  At least 24 hours e-mail notice is required  for gear loanouts and students must be on time as a limited window of 15-30 minutes will be made available before the next scheduled pickup.  Being late may necessitate rescheduling.  A return date/time will be negotiated with the media technician, please stick to this return time as other pick-ups are scheduled based on what gear is due to be returned to the loanout pool. 

Please direct any questions or requests for clarification to t.signal@auckland.ac.nz

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT:

In the first four weeks of the course you will work independently to identify, develop, propose and pitch a documentary film.

Four of these projects will be selected to go into production, which will take the next four teaching weeks (including the mid-semester break). Working in groups of four you will complete the pre-production and production phase of the project your group has selected. Each project will have a minimum of two major ‘shoots’: Shoot A and Shoot B. Each group will have four roles: Producerx, Directorx, DOPy, Sound Recordisty. Every student will fulfil a ‘x’ role, and a ‘y’ role.

Everyone edits their own films and completes their own post-production sound during the last four weeks of the course. We are fortunate this semester in that we will be collaborating with students in the School of Music.

You will be working collaboratively to fulfil your creative ambitions over the semester. The success of your project depends upon your generosity, respect and engagement towards one another.

 Please note that are other tasks, which will not be assessed (such as logs, transcripts, paper edits) which are nevertheless important aspects of your training. We will be referring to and work-shopping some of these work products in class. Just because it isn’t assigned a mark doesn’t mean it isn’t a valuable learning opportunity.

 

ASSESSMENT BREAKDOWN:

20% PROPOSAL                                                          

5%   PITCH                                                                    

10% PRE-PRODUCTION PRESENTATION (PRODUCERS & DIRECTORS)

10% DAILIES PRESENTATION (DOPS & SOUND RECORDISTS)

10% COMPOSITION BRIEF                                      

 5%   PRODUCTION NOTEBOOK (GROUP SUBMISSION)                    

 40% EDIT                                                                       

 =100% COURSEWORK

UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, ASSESSEMENTS ARE INDIVIDUAL     

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course summary:

Date Details