Communication and Culture | Documentary Filmmaking Theory and Practice
C435 | 1087 | Staff
What makes a documentary a documentary? Its subject matter?
Stylistic or technical features? The fact that it uses real people
and not actors (most of the time, that is)? This course will explore
these and other questions as it traces the history of documentary film
practice. We will study the major American and European documentary
movements through film screenings, and readings, and we will engage
the styles discussed in a series of hands-on exercises. Aside from
these exercises there will be several quizzes, a midterm, and three
This will be an intense semester, involving plenty of reading, film
viewing writing and creative work. The goal of the class is to gain a
critical understanding of some fundamental concepts involved in
documentary, such as realism, evidence, voice, ethics, etc. The
production exercises will be completed in the miniDV format, which has
become the medium of choice for many documentary filmmakers.
The class is limited to 12 students. You must have completed either
C335, C360 or Telecom T283, and be at least a junior to be admitted.
For further information, contact Amy Cornell or Susanne Schwibs.