Aside from creating a high quality film, the aim of the studio was to encourage students to think about storytelling via the documentary form, as well as present work that complemented and reflected on the final project. Students were permitted to work in teams of two, however most students were given the freedom to pursue their own creative ideas and make a film based on their initial source.
Assessment tasks included preparing a verbal pitch to class on their idea for a documentary, writing a full documentary proposal accompanied by a second verbal pitch to the class, screening a ‘work-in-progress’ of their film accompanied by written materials, a final short film accompanied by written materials, and lastly, a reflective essay on the studio processes and individual learning outcomes.
Students learn many valuable skills in this studio relating to the production of documentary. Workshops on interviews, story-telling and archive prove invaluable to not only documentary film-making, but also wider projects within Media. Importantly, students are required to analyse and critique their own work throughout the unit, and provide feedback to other students on how to piece together and develop the story of each film.
The strength of this studio is that students are able to follow a single project from start to finish, and truly immerse themselves in all stages of production. Students must persevere with their ideas for the entire 13 weeks and thus gain relevant experience in overcoming challenges that are typical to working producers. The final project is a short film that provides students with a tangible asset to take away from the course that can be returned to at a later date or be a catalyst for other creative works in the future.