What stories are you needing, burning to tell? And why not take from the ‘real’ and shape your own story into a working documentary reality… What happens when you take image and sound recording equipment into ‘reality’ and confront or investigate, even cajole or caress it? How does it respond? What does this interaction create? And, how can you gain the tools and understanding to help your story, that reality, reveal itself?
Drawing from the rich history of documentary filmmaking, with specific emphasis on and investigation of just what the ‘real’ can be, this course aims to open up the possibility for anyone who is interested, to explore documentary storytelling, through engagement with a survey of films that have been made, to theory resulting from maker’s efforts, to shaping the ideas you have into a documentary production, a production that can take shape as a single channel work, or even multi-channel installation in terms of form.
The course is built on the idea of an ‘editorial board’ where each participant is given time and space to develop their work, and gives feedback to each other’s work, each and every course meeting. There are nine course meetings in Norrköping throughout the year, one weekend a month, every four to six weeks. So if you work or study full time during the week, or are coming from a distant location, etc., you can participate in this course. Attendance and participation in course meetings are essential, as is work completed between class times. (There are also equipment reviews and workshops, as well as guest lecture opportunities that occur outside of these weekend times.)
From the first to the second meeting, ideas will be developed and pitched, and throughout each subsequent course meeting, these ideas will be developed toward meeting the individual students stated goals. While surveying the history of the medium through Friday night screenings, this course aims to tailor itself to each student’s needs with the group progressing collectively together throughout the year. The simultaneous viewing and making (not to exclude ‘theorizing about’) is intended to feed each other, and work toward producing a more knowledgeable person, whether or not you are of hope to become a documentary filmmaker. You will learn not only about ‘the world out there,’ but also about yourselves. That knowledge should be useful no matter what your life’s vocation may be or become. The camera, here, is another tool for exploring ideas and testing who you are in relation to those ideas. We can say, cinema as a form of writing, filmmaking as intellectual work. The course should be of interest to both cinema-studies students, those interested in beginning or continuing a documentary film practice, and anyone who wants to take on the challenge of self-exploration in confrontation with the ‘real’.
Who are you?
You could be coming from any number of positions or places: you might be a journalist who is wanting to take on a project of your own in an independent context, or a researcher who wants to ‘publish’ in another format, to reach a new audience outside of the normal academic venues. You may be a beginning or even experienced filmmaker who has a project in mind and wants a structured context with a group of open and eager minds and expertise willing to help you on your journey. You may be an art or communications student who needs to branch out into a mode of production that involves video and sound, to explore a story you want to tell! But, whoever you are, you need to be open to taking on a broad perspective about just what documentary film is, not only as a form of expression, but an art form, and what it can be! The rest is your adventure, your journey.