Category: Student Posts

Week 6 – Project Pitch and the Essay Film

This week we move to the next stage of this subject where we start to focus more on our own documentaries. But first a few screenings…..

1. Screening #1

A screening of each groups ‘Nature on Campus’ part 2 documentaries.

2. Screening #2
La Morte Rouge (2006) by Victor Erice

3. Class Discussion

  • La Morte Rouge belongs to the tradition known as the ‘Essay Film’. Why might this be so?
  • Does it fit into any of the other ‘modes’ of documentary we have looked at so far?

4. Activity – Getting started on major project
Each student to bring up the subject blog, read the assessment guidelines.

Take 5 to 10 minutes to write a blog entry with any fragments or scraps that you think are relevant to your project:

  • what kind of ‘mode’ would you like to work in?
  • what size of group?
  • what sort of topic would you like to work on?

Speed Dating – Assigning groups to work together:
A ‘speed dating’ exercise where each person has 2 minutes to ‘pitch’ the idea for their major project.

At the end, people group themselves together to decide on who they want to work with – one person from each group to post the groups on the blog.

5. Activity:
[if any time left] – individuals or group to produce a 1.5 minute doco in which the idea is pitched – using whatever mode necessary to best portray the idea – upload to web tagging it “week 6”

6. Homework
Continue your documentary process journal. Update it with the latest information: topic, plans, your role, research etc.

Read the following online article on the Essay Film:
The Essay Film: Problems, Definitions, Textual Commitments

Week 4 – Interactive Modes and Docufictions

This week we take some time to investigate the field of interactive documentary and watch a classic Iranian film which merges documentary and fiction, intruducing us to the field, sometimes knows as Docufiction.

But first……I know some of you need to go to Sydney for the MCA excursion for Matt’s class. Which of you are going? There is a train that leaves at 12.35 which should give you enough time to get there.

1. Screening #1
A viewing of the class shooting exercise – Nature on Campus – from last week.
Have you uploaded these to your blogs? If not can you supply me with a digital copy?


This exercise from last week ties in with…..

2. Last weeks homework – Class Discussion:
– the Stan Brakhage Film
– the Michael Renov Article (first 3 pages)

  • What did you make of this film?
  • Is it documentary?
  • If so what is it documenting?

3. Class Discussion: Interactive Documentary – What is it?
How do we define interactive documentary?

4. Intro to Korsakow:

What is it?

5. Explore: the Korsakov home page above has a section highlighting examples of films made with this software. Check out this link. It’s a great example of a database film made with the Korsakow software.

6. Screening #2:
Today we will watch a classic of world cinema, Close Up (1990) by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

7. Class Discussion:

  • Close Up has been called a documentary drama, a docudrama, a docufiction, a fictional documentary….how would YOU define the film?
  • What themes does the film explore?
  • If it’s a documentary, what does the film document?
  • If it has fictional elements…what are they? What does it dramatise?
  • Can you think of any more recent examples of this kind of hybrid?
  • What about mockumentary? How does this genre fit into this conversation? Spinal Tap anyone?

8. Homework
Your journals (blogs) are due next week so I’ll ease off on the reading tasks. Make sure you brush up on the exact requirements for Assignment 1 and have it ready for next week.