Thanks for reading--once again, I'm Danielle Bezalel working with Chris Metzler for our Filmmakers in the Classroom program at International High School in SF. If you're interested in Chris' work, it can be found here: http://tilapiafilm.com/ (He's done some amazing stuff so you should definitely check it out!)
Our second class was tons of fun! We introduced some basic Documentary terms (modes like Expository, Observational, Participatory) and the main differences between them. As an example, we showed "The Roper" which is a 7 minute short documentary about a man who dreams of joining the rodeo. We discussed the fact that there were interviews and the students pointed out that the shots were planned--the camera man didn't just HAPPEN to follow the man on one of the most important days of his career. While some documentaries are clear as to category, some are a mix of a few categories!
We also asked the students who their favorite person was to begin ideas for their documentaries! ...Now would be a great time to talk about the students' documentary projects! We want the students to get in groups of three to make a short documentary (about 2 minutes long) by the end of the semester. They will all learn the basics of editing, filming, and creating a storyline that is engaging and makes sense.
So, we began by asking the students: Who is your favorite person and why? What have they done with you or in their lives that makes them special, that makes them extraordinary? During this time, we got an array of responses as to who they chose and why they chose that person--it was wonderful to see smiles on their faces and to see them get excited about people who have made a postive impact on their lives.
We left the class with this homework assignment: drawing 8 pictures of possible shots in their documentaries with their favorite person in them. This was the beginning of our next lesson: Story boarding!
See ya next time! :)
P.S: We used the following curriculum from the SFFS website: "Making a Video About Your Favorite Person"