FS 250 - Documentary Filmmaking

This Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking will enable students to develop a critical, aesthetic and ethical approach to visual representation. Through selected documentary viewings, readings, class discussions, research projects and the completion of a final project, students will acquire the necessary tools that will help them understand the process needed for making a visual text. The making of a short documentary project on a selected topic will be agreed and approved by the instructor.

The documentaries will be based on the new reality in which students will be living and will focus on the differences between cultures, religions, politics, arts, architecture and lifestyles. Students will capture aspects of Italian culture with the advantage of being able to observe it as spectators with a certain amount of detachment. Students will develop the ability to observe, explore, and investigate the reality around them. The course fosters a new mode of attentiveness and observation that stimulates and allows students to turn their ideas, intuitions and emotions into visual narratives. Students will face and discuss all steps involved in the making of documentaries from conception to final film. This procedure will allow them to develop, also in a written form, a research project structured in four parts: Issues; People; Locations; Story.

Students will be trained in the basic technical and creative skills of video and digital technology under the guidance of an experienced filmmaker. They will transform selected research projects into a documentary and will be working in small groups. Students will film and edit also outside class time. The course will consider historical, theoretical and methodological information about documentary production through lectures, readings and film discussions. 

Course Information


Film Studies

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Students must bring their own video camera, or digital camera with video recording function (video DSLR) and instruction manual

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