Creating the Digital Documentary


Building on skills and materials gathered in the fall or in other courses, students pursue the creation and production of significant short-form documentaries. In this course, interdisciplinary projects that involve documentary film and other disciplines are encouraged. Students explore documentary structure from both the conceptual and the editorial stance. In addition, by deconstructing consequential documentaries that have influenced history—such as Blackfish by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Gasland by Josh Fox, and The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris—students are introduced to productions that aspire to real-world impact. In class, students with previous experience can continue work on conference documentaries pitched during the first semester, while new students entering in the spring will conceptualize and initiate works framed within the broad range of documentary modes—poetic, expository, observational, participatory, reflexive, performative. In individual conferences and in specialized technical labs, all students continue to develop preproduction, production, and postproduction skill-sets to the measure of their own conference productions.