Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Documentary Peer Edits

Please answer the following questions on a piece of paper. Discuss your answers with your partner and then turn in this sheet at the end of class.

1. Is there an introduction that explains the documentary subject? Is it effective, why or why not?
2. Are the interview sound bytes kept between eight and fifteen seconds in length? Do the interviews move the story along? Are the interviews free of background noise?
3. Is there narration in the video? If there is no narration, are there titles that further the story? Are either of these an effective way to help tell the story?
4. Is the enough B-roll in the video? Does the B-Roll enhance the story or is it just filler? Could adding any pictures from the Internet help the story?
5. Is the project three-six minutes in length?
6. What music is used? Is there enough variety? Could more music be helpful?
7. Can you hear all of the interviews OK? In other words, are there any TCP errors?
8. Finally, what would you do to improve this video? Give three specific examples.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Reading For Documentary Unit

There will be a quiz on this material plus three questions about the documentary you watched on your own.

Documentary Narration/Text/Organization

First, read this section on interview techniques here.

Next, open up your email account and start working on the assignment below. When you are done, please email the assignment to me at Also, CC your parent or guardian CC your parent or guardian so they can see what you are working on.

Write three to four sentences describing topic in great detail . Give crucial information and history as needed. Feel free to use documented statistics.
For example, if you are doing a piece on gas prices then find out how expensive gas has been over the last twenty years. Why the change? What are the factors etc? Do cars get more or less miles per gallon?

Next, list at least five specific examples of of B-Roll you will use. Provide dates, locations, and shot type of the footage.
Will you use any footage from sources other than your own camera? If so, what will they be?

Again, if you are doing Gas prices you might want to show people filling up at the gas station, a shot or two of gas price signs, people driving cars, and money exchanging hands etc.

Narrate or use text to move from one interview to the next. If you do your interviews well, the interviews will tell the story and your narration will be minimal.
For today’s assignment, pretend you have three different examples and interviews for your topic.
What will you cover in this section? What will the audience learn? Please list the people who have interviewed or will interview and also list the B-Roll that will play underneath those interviews.

What did you conclude from your documentary (using both sides of course)? You aren't trying to prove a point here as this is more of a recap of what we saw in the body of your documentary.
What should the audience know that ties all the information together? What is next for your subject or subjects?
Your closing narration should be at least three to four sentences.

Again, email me your responses. Hopefully this helps you organize your documentary.