Fundamentals of Documentary Filmmaking

Course Description: 

This introductory documentary filmmaking course is designed to fit the interests and needs of students from a wide range of programs and departments. The course provides students a grounding in the craft of documentary filmmaking, and the creation of moving images, instructing them in fundamental skills that they can apply to projects in their respective research, and beyond. These skills cover all phases of the documentary production process, from idea development, through pre-production and preparation, cinematography, sound and editing. Through learning to create moving images, in concert with formal analysis of documentary examples, students gain valuable, versatile skills, and gain literacy in this increasingly important mode of communication.
Class sessions combine lecture on relevant concepts, viewing and analysis of documentary examples, technical instruction on equipment, hands-on exercises, and critique of class projects at each stage of completion. Outside of class, working in small groups, students will complete the final project, a 5-8 minute documentary film, as well as two short, video-based exercises exploring and developing specific production skills.