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."
For public access
and independent media arts centers. Designed and taught by Tim Wright.
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
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.
of Documentary Styles and Techniques
Two 3-hour meetings
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.