Summer 2004

ARTS 644
Documentary Filmmaking

Bricca,Jacob Paul; Molomot,Lisa

06/28/2004 - 07/15/2004
Monday-Thursday 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Art Workshop 101; Science Tower 72

This course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of how documentary films are made, through technical training and practical experience in shooting and editing digital video. Through a series of exercises and in-class critique sessions, students will learn how to compose shots, obtain proper exposure and white balance, record sound, and edit using the Final Cut Express post-production platform (an Apple Macintosh software program). Students will also refine their critical and aesthetic sensibilities and enhance their knowledge of the documentary film as an art form. By taking this course, students will learn: the fundamentals of video camera technology and editing equipment; the compositional structure of the documentary film form; and the critical and aesthetic issues in the history of this form.

Sources of study for the course will include: Tom Schroeppel, THE BARE BONES CAMERA COURSE FOR VIDEO; Michael Rabiger, DIRECTING THE DOCUMENTARY; other selected readings (handouts); and documentary films.

In this three-week intensive course, students should expect to work at least 10 hours per week outside of class time to complete their exercises. Students will be responsible for six production exercises, two quizzes, and class participation.

Students will need to purchase an external firewire hard drive (minimum 20 gigabytes, cost is approximately $150) to store their video work. This hard drive will be needed for the second half of the course; at the first class meeting, students may discuss with the instructors the optimal models to purchase. Cameras, DV tapes, microphones, and tripods will be provided and shared by three groups of four students each. Some additional (optional) lab time for editing will be scheduled, in consultation with students. Additional course fee: $55.

Jacob Bricca (B.A. Wesleyan University; M.F.A. American Film Institute) is visiting assistant professor of film studies at Wesleyan University. He is a film director, cinematographer, and editor whose credits include Lost in La Mancha, a feature documentary about Terry Gilliam's ill-fated attempt to make a film adaptation of Don Quixote; Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew, a feature documentary about the famed jazz singer that has won rave reviews in Variety and The Los Angeles Times and appeared on PBS's Independent Lens in February 2004; Homeland; What a Girl Wants; and Copworld, an A&E special. Click here for more information about Jacob Bricca.

Lisa Molomot (B.A. Hamilton College; M.F.A. The American Film Institute) is a documentary producer and editor. She has edited documentaries for A&E, The Discovery Channel, PBS, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her various credits include The Kentucky Theatre, The Last Hostage, Los Occultos, Manna From Heaven, Vivien Leigh: A Delicate Balance, On the Inside of: The World Series of Poker, Greg Ford For Congress, and Battle for the Minds. She recently completed a documentary, The Hill, about an unprecedented civil rights case in New Haven. Click here for more information about Lisa Molomot.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 12

Texts to purchase for this course:
Michael Rabiger, DIRECTING THE DOCUMENTARY (Focal Press), Paperback

Tom Schroeppel, THE BARE BONES CAMERA COURSE FOR FILM AND VIDEO (Tom Schroeppel), Paperback

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