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> Media Production Workshops

Tim Wright and his Documentary-in-Action class at Cityscape Motion Picture Education are making  a  documentary on the making of the 35mm film The Strangler's Wife, a co-production of Cityscape and Roger Corman, the legendary "king of the B movies." 

> Ongoing Workshops

For public access and independent media arts centers. Designed and taught by Tim Wright.

Editing Styles and Techniques
Two 3-hour meetings + one editing lab 


Students are introduced to the history and current principles of film and video editing by viewing and discussing  excerpts ranging from Eisenstein's Potemkin to recent documentaries, narrative films, music videos and commercials. Among subjects discussed: continuity and discontinuity in narration, geometry, color and movement; transitions (cuts, wipes, fades, dissolves); symbolic cutting (Hollywood and Russian montage, etc.). After the first session, students will be assigned to do a two-minute video edit of either documentary or fiction material provided by the instructor. In the second session we  view and critique these edits. Prerequisite: basic acquaintance with cuts only editing. Limited to 12 students.


Shooting Styles and Techniques 
  

Two 3-hour meetings + one camcorder checkout 

Students are introduced to historic and contemporary styles of camera work in both documentary and fiction filmmaking through excerpts from Hollywood and off-Hollywood films, as well as commercials and music videos. Between the first and second sessions, students are assigned to shoot a short scene in video using a script or subject provided by the instructor. They  shoot it at least two of the styles discussed in the first session: "telephoto/close-up," "wide-angle/deep space," "day-for-night," "cinema-verité," etc. In the second session, we  view and critique these styles and their effect on the look and meaning of the scene. Prerequisite: completion of at least one previous video. Limited to 12 students.


Sound for Documentary Films and Videos

Two 3-hour meetings + one editing lab 

In the first meeting, students examine the uses and abuses of commentative, synchronous, ambient sound and music in classic and contemporary documentary films. Various expressive uses of sound will be shown and analyzed: as reinforcement, as counterpoint, in the creation of locale, in the shortening and lengthening of time, as glue to hold disparate images together in montages, as emotional intensifier. Between the first and second sessions, students are given an image sequence along with various kinds of sounds, and will be asked to combine them in a two-track or three-track audio edit. The second class  examines each of those edits in detail for the effect of the sounds on each other and on the images. Prerequisite: basic familiarity with two-track audio insert editing. Limited to 12 students.

History of Documentary Styles and Techniques
Two 3-hour meetings 

Students  watch and discuss excerpts from documentaries ranging from Nanook of the North to MTV's The Real World. Emphasis will be on historical and cultural influences on contemporary documentary styles and techniques and their esthetic and ethical implications. Among the filmmakers whose work is shown and discussed are Robert Flaherty, Dziga Vertov, Esther Schub, John Grierson, Basil Wright, the Maysles Brothers, Dusan Makavejev, Alain Resnais, Jean Rouche, Kidlat Tahimik, Maximillian Schell, Muffy Meyer and Ellen Hovde, Kevin and Pierce Rafferty, Jayne Loader, Barbara Kopple, Ross McElwee and Roger Moore. Limited to 14 students.

Talking Heads: Interviewing Styles and Techniques
Two 3-hour meetings

In the first meeting, students  learn through demonstration a series of skills, including: choosing a location, evaluating its acoustic properties; selecting and locating microphones, establishing rapport with the subject, asking effective questions; composing the shot; shooting for maximum editing flexibility; and lighting effectively, both outdoors and indoors. Students are then given interview assignments, which are critiqued in detail during the second session. Limited to 12 students. Prerequisite: completion of at least one previous video.

The Documentary Tradition

A twelve hour weekend immersion class in the history of documentary filmmaking. Taught at CityScape. For a complete description see their website at www.cityscapefilm.com.

Documenting the Making of a Roger Corman Film


A year long nuts and bolts documentary making workshop at Cityscape. See www.cityscapefilm.com for details.

> Recently Completed Workshops

Designed and taught by Julie Crinière and Lu, Chih-Lan.

Call for Art: Collaboration for Action, Representation and Transformation. This collaboration included a theater group, Urban Improv, a research study, the Harvard Immigration Project, and us as artists in residence in Madison Park High School, Roxbury. Using the arts gave immigrant students a chance to reenact their immigrant experience through the improvisational theater workshops, to write about them and to make videos about their stories.

"Media as a Second Language" is an after-school program we created in Chelsea High School teaching young immigrants to use video to tell their stories. One of the videos made by students was about the story of a young woman from Honduras entitled Irma Caceres: The Goddess of Truth. The video is now distributed by Documentary Educational Resources http://www.der.org/films/irma-caceres.html and was showed at a teacher conference about media literacy in San Francisco.

Frisoli Art Summer Camp. We taught children to document their art making process and reflect on what it meant to them. This resulted in a colorful video piece shot by the students and edited by us. The summer camp now uses the piece as a promotional video to recruit more children from the Cambridge community to participate in the arts.

Designed by Laura Wilson, Michael Underwood  and Tim Wright, taught by Tim Wright and Michael Underwood at the Boston Film/Video Foundation.

The Documentary Experience

A sixteen session workshop in which students were exposed to both the theory and practice of documentary production, culminating in the making of a short documentary film by students in the class with Michael Underwood. At the Boston Film/Video Foundation.

 

 

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