Digital Documentary Storytelling


This introduction to documentary/nonfiction storytelling for the screen investigates the palette of documentary production styles illustrated in the works of influential directors Luis Buñuel, Su Friedrich, Barbara Kopple, Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Sam Pollard, and the Newsreel Collective. The course uniquely provides an opportunity for students in other disciplines who have interest in film and video to eventually adapt conference work from other fields to the video medium. Synthesizing theory and practice, students explore the intersection of other popular movements—surrealism and feminism—in the documentary discourse. Each student is encouraged to experience theory as a means of discovering his or her own creative voice. Students develop skills in shooting and editing in specialized technical labs and in their work on preliminary exercises and assignments. They develop, research, conceptualize, write treatments for, produce, direct, and edit individual productions or co-productions developed in pairs. This workshop provides students with the perfect opportunity to create the short documentary that they’ve always imagined, including social-issues documentaries, autobiographical shorts, experimental documentaries, road movies, anecdotal portrayals, and city symphonies.