Why are we doing this?

We see documentary footage daily, whether it is on the news or in a full- length documentary film. It is important to be able to be critical of these works, so we can be informed citizens and artists. This project will also give us a chance to practice basic editing skills before moving on to our more art-centric works.

How are we doing this?

1.    Plan, film, and edit a short video documentary / or portrait of a subject (person, place, thing) that you have safe access to on your block or neighborhood, in your home, on television, or something that is on your mind. Include a consideration of your understanding of one or more of the keywords from your American Studies readings and learning in the first few weeks: “Empire,” “Colonial”“Indian,” “Indigenous”“Capitalism,” “Slavery”“Ethnicity,” “Race,” “Racialization”

2.   We will screen all these documentaries on March 4th as a “portrait” of the communities where we are.

3.   Brainstorm and write a treatment plan.

4.   Develop a storyboard of thumbnail sketches to determine each shot of your documentary. It must be at least two minutes long – no longer than 3 minutes. Make sure to consider context.

5.   Film  the footage. Follow all the guidelines we cover in class. Project may include photographs if necessary, but primarily should feature video footage.

6.   Edit the footage. You can use any software you like. I can help you with Premiere or Final Cut.