Instructor’s note: For those who have taken the Introduction to Documentary Class at SOCAPA, this class will challenge you to dig much deeper. For those who will be exploring the documentary world for the first time, this class will get you to “hit the ground running.” The best way to learn about making documentaries is to make them.
Documentaries have become one of the most popular and mainstream genres of cinema. An increasing number of young filmmakers are venturing into the documentary world as an “entry” into the world of visual storytelling. Year after year, the popularity of non-fiction storytelling reaches new heights. During the pandemic, filmmakers all around the globe began developing “homemade” documentaries and achieved audience and critical acclaim -– all while keeping safe from COVID-19. But what is a documentary? How do you go about developing one? How do you shoot and edit a non-fiction film? These are some of the questions we will answer in our 6 weeks Advanced Documentary Class.
By the end of our six weeks program, students will have researched, written, pre-produced, produced, and edited an advanced documentary project. Our primary focus will be the storytelling aspects of documentary films -– one must tell a story.
Students will be expected to watch multiple documentary films every week and to read Bill Nichol’s seminal book “Introduction to Documentary.” The class discussions and lectures will be geared toward inspiring and preparing each student to engage in their own creative process and to dream big. Each student will spend the first two weeks developing three ideas for possible feature documentary film projects to be created in the future. These ideas can range from a personal documentary about a family member who lives with the student, to a documentary about the mysteries of outer space -– always taking in consideration the limitations imposed on us by the pandemic. Once the project is selected, the development work will begin. The central idea is to create an advanced documentary project with a total running time no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes.
Depending on the quality of each individual project, the student will be able to use their advanced films as part of their college application (if applicable to the program and/or College the student is applying to) as well as a proof of concept for future development and financing. Expect to watch many films, to write extensively, and to use your creativity as you make your films without exposing yourself or your family members to any COVID-19 related risks.
Join us on this adventure into the world of Advanced Documentary Filmmaking.
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