This Filmmaking class is an introduction to documentary form, communications objectives, types of shots, and pre-production requirements.
Short clips from a number of documentaries will be analyzed to understand the basic types of shots and content that constitute most non-fiction films. Basics include: interviews, scene-based visuals and verité, B-roll, and archival materials. Other elements include voice-over (narration), graphics and animation, re-enactments, wild sound, and music. These are important considerations, but will have less focus than primary camera-based shooting.
Emphasis is on the ability to identify dramatic arcs and vivid characters who can drive the story. Furthermore, students will be strongly encouraged to produce scene-based visuals for their documentaries and use talking heads and narrations only as a secondary and additive layers. This will provide the greatest future utility in their skill-set.
- Safe set up of camera, tripod, and monitor
- Basic photographic controls of camera
- Basic menu-driven controls of camera
- Ideas of “proper” exposure
- Ideas of white balance
- Control of white balance through white card, presets, forcing, AWB
- Solid state media recording
- Sound recording
- Camera care
- Functions of bars and tone
- Standardizing recording approach
- Selection of formats for recording
- Framing and composition
- Subject research
- Interviewing styles and techniques
- Client/Talent/Interviewee relationship and etiquette
- Release form and the right to privacy for non public figures