PROJECT #3: Direct or Observational Cinema: Dramatizing a Location
Final Critique Thursday, Nov. 10 by start of class.
Objective: Using tripod camera work and ambient lighting and sound, shoot materials for a 3-4 minute video that compresses and captures the feel and mood of contained location over a time span of 12-24 hours. The location will work better for you if it is "room-sized" or possibly smaller. It should have several lighting sources or at least one adjustable lighting source. You should utilize lighting, sound and action to demonstrate the feel and mood. You may use one person for an interview. Time-lapse imagery for part of the project is acceptable.
Possible Subjects: Choose a location that will change over the course of a day/night! Could be, but not limited to this list: an alley, a restaurant or cafeteria, a dormitory, a train or bus station, a workplace, a construction site, a park, a street market, a plaza, a tattoo shop, a hair salon, a busy family home, a pond, a smoking patio, a classroom, a studio, a gallery, a bar, etc.
1) RESEARCH: Choose a visually interesting public (or private) location with a strong cyclical “life.” Bring your sketchpad and spend a few hours observing, listening, and sketching. Come ready to truly OBSERVE – turn off your phone, focus on examining the actions within the space. You might want to zero in on a single character associated with the place or depict several. Make notes of everything that you notice, paying special attention to expository detail (that is, what you must show to establish essentials of the location for your audience – where, when, why, who, what, how). Also pay careful attention to the sound in the location, and note which sounds you will record. You may find one person in the space that you would like to interview.
Proposal (due Tuesday 10/25)
Do the above research (photograph/ scan notes and upload), then type a proposal with FOUR descriptive paragraphs:
- Describe the place, and why you chose it – what is interesting about it? (refer to research observation notes)
- List specific sounds, lighting and visuals you noticed when you observed the space that you would like to include. Show evidence of Reading #5 (sound) in your writing as you discuss types of sound, etc.
- What is your overall concept? (What do you want to say / represent about the space / leave the audience with?)
- What character(s) / person, you would like to interview in the space and why?
PLANNING: Look over your research notes and select the best visuals, actions, and sounds to show the life, people, and spirit of your location. From these, create a shot list or “script” that implies a structure and dramatic curve. Sketch out a storyboard of the shots. Pay special attention to depicting the beginning, middle and end of each cycle in the location. Also begin to think about questions you would like to ask an interview subject, if applicable.
Preparation: Due Thursday, 10/27
Reading #5 & Canvas Quiz Due! (What Types of Documentary Are There? from Intro to Documentary by Bill Nichols)
Preparation: Based on your Reading, Planning and Research, create and submit:
- Describe what type of documentary project are you planning
- Make a storyboard (detailing the camera work) AND
- a script OR shot list (whichever is appropriate) that guides us through the space/video. It should include details about specific shots, sounds, and voice.
- If you are interviewing someone, prepare a list of 10 interview questions for your subject.
Production & Post Production
3) SHOOTING: Return to the location and shoot storyboarded shots, conduct your interview, record sounds, and capture any “gifts” that come your way. Make sure you pay attention to capturing long takes of unique sound. You will want to add these in post-production to create a soundtrack. You will probably use a limited amount of “sync” sound. Also you can add music to the soundtrack (copyright free only!).
4) EDITING Work with your visuals, sound and music to make a sophisticated visual and audio environment. Consider the readings you have completed, as well as what you learned from analyzing your film.
Final Project Critique on 11/10
Schedule of Deadlines / Events:
10/25: Be a Critic Article & /Quiz
10/25: Initial Research & Proposal Due! (5 paragraphs) (Graded)
10/27: Reading #5 & Canvas Quiz Due! (What Types of Documentary Are There? from Intro to Documentary by Bill Nichols)
10/27: Final Project 2 video due (on vimeo & HW folder).
10/27: Project #3 - Storyboard + Script / Shot List + interview questions Due! (Graded)
11/1: Progress Check Point – rough edited in PP
11/1: Final Project Discussion
11/3: INSTALLATION REHEARSAL! Pick up a projector, cart and extension cords before class
11/10: VIDEOS DUE – copied to HW folder prior to start of class. In-class Critique. (Graded)
11/17: Project #3 Re-edits DUE - copied to HW folder and uploaded to your Vimeo account with synopsis and added to our class group.