About this Studio
“We need documentary. We need it to help interpret the world. We use documentary. We use it as artists, as viewers, and as activists to help us imagine new ways to engage with the world. We rely on documentary, in all of its eclectic variety, to record, trouble, explain, reveal, and share lived reality and our plans and hopes to transform it.” (Alex Juhasz & Alisa Lebow, 2018)
You may be familiar with the big nature docos on television, the latest true crime series of Netflix, or the well-meaning fact-filled film that persuades us to change our behaviours. This is not what this studio is about! Documentary has a rich and varied history of experimentation with form and ways of telling stories that explore the world in surprising, unconventional and creative ways. It is a form that interrogates our understanding of the world and challenges the status quo. This studio encourages you explore non-fiction events and stories through a range of creative techniques, and personal expression, as well as questioning what documentary can be. We will also read a manifesto or two.
In this studio you will learn some of the more traditional strategies of documenting such as finding stories, treatment and script-writing, interviews, sound design, editing and montage. These of course are essential as they might form the basis of your films. In addition, you will also explore a wide range of visual, textual and aural storytelling techniques through weekly experiments – both individually and collaboratively. Throughout the semester, you will develop and make your own creative non-fiction projects.
The studio involves an integration of watching films, analysis, critical reflections, reading, writing and practical experiments. So, forget what you think documentary is and bring your curiosity for a semester of playful experimentation with the “real.”