Course Description and Overview

This summer intensive course is designed to provide an opportunity for pre-college students to develop their creative filmmaking practice, focusing on individual production, group projects and critical discussion. The course combines 16mm filmmaking craft with high-definition (HD) digital video techniques and tools, immersing students in the history and practice of making movies. Focusing on film as social practice on location in New York City, students gain a critical understanding of how re-imagining the city through multimedia storytelling engages, provokes, delights, and informs audiences. You will work in a group to develop, shoot and edit socially engaged short film projects that are screened publicly at the end of the course. Over the course of the term we will move from acquiring basic technical skills to a consideration of more complex production scenarios. We will look into history and conceptual frameworks of socially engaged art and film, addressing ethics and methodologies of media/political activism, culture jamming, public interventions, and community oriented participatory work. Class time will be divided between practical hands-on sessions, field trips, guest artist talks and lectures. You will be required to complete production assignments and bring them to class and/or post them on our course blog. We will view and discuss documentary, experimental, and narrative film and new media works that respond to social, economic, political and environmental crises.

This course is divided in two sections: digital video/hybrid (Monday – Thursday) and analog film section (Fridays). I want to emphasize that the course is very demanding, and requires that students attend to both the technical and artistic aspects of film production- they are equally important. Your input and participation is extremely important! As filmmaking is most often a collaborative art, students are expected to work together to complete most of the exercises. The subject/content of your films is obviously a crucial ingredient! A technically competent film with uninspired content isn’t enough. On the other hand, having a good idea is only the first step. You need the tools and know-how to express yourself. Over the semester, you may feel yourself having difficulty balancing these two aspects of film- the technical and the creative. I will try to put things into perspective in class whenever I can- but in order for me to do this, your dedication, preparation, and participation are critical. Please note that the work produced in this course will be documented on our website (link is above). You will be required to log in and regularly contribute to the site.

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