Communication and Culture | Documentary Filmmaking: Theory and Practice
C435 | 12812 | Clift, R.
TR, 3:00 PM-5:00 PM, 800 E. 3rd St. – room 102
Requires authorization: (812) 855-2367
Requires special fee
Prerequisite: CMCL-C 335 or CMCL-C 360 or TEL-T 238 or equivalent
Must have at least junior standing
Instructor: Robert Clift
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 281
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 short papers/journals.
This will be an intense seminar, 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 filmmaking, 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