The New Storytellers Documentary Filmmaking In The 21 Century-Books Pdf

The New Storytellers Documentary Filmmaking in the 21 Century
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The New Storytellers,By Maggie Burnette Stogner, Question What is your story who is your audience why does it matter. Five years ago one of our graduate students embarked on her thesis film As We Forgive. about Rwanda s reintegration of genocide killers into their home villages She and a fellow. student filmed the documentary using digital cameras She edited it using nonlinear editing. software on her laptop computer After being turned down by PBS the U S public. broadcasting system she distributed it herself on DVD to organizations that engaged people. in discussions of forgiveness Just a decade earlier this would not have been possible The. tools simply didn t exist Ultimately her film won a gold Emmy for top student documentary. aired on national PBS and received over 300 000 in outreach funding to travel the film. throughout the U S and Rwanda, The landscape for 21st century documentarians continues to evolve in large part due to. digital and web technologies Consider this A week s worth of The New York Times contains. more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century 1. In the U S the number of adults using the Internet has risen from 14 in 1995 to 87 in. 2014 2 Facebook has over 1 1 billion monthly active users worldwide 3 By 2014 the number. of mobile phones in the world is expected to reach 7 3 billion more than the total world. population 4 Today students are using these media technologies to create share and. participate in cultural narratives at an unprecedented rate. However it is important to note that access to the Internet and digital technology does. not extend to all students Some lack the economic resources education availability and. freedom of expression to take part in,today s media phenomena Only 40 of. the world s population is using the,Internet 5 A new kind of elitism is arising. marginalizing those who do not have,digital tools or Internet access The.
challenge of giving voice to the unheard,continues The 21st century film school. can make a significant difference in,decreasing the digital divide by. participating in community media,projects partnering with underfunded. nonprofit organizations and helping,educational organizations that lack. Video by Parithi TV Did You Know 3 0 HD uploaded on YouTube Feb 8 2010 https www youtube com. watch feature player embedded v ygMPyP7qIkU noredirect 1 accessed July 20 2013. 2 Pew Research Center surveys 1995 2014 www pewinternet org 2014 02 27 the web at 25 in the u s. Facebook Facebook Reports First Quarter 2013 Results press release May 1 2013 http investor fb com release. detail cfm ReleaseID 761090 accessed July 13 2013, Joshua Pramis Number of Mobile Phones to Exceed World Population by 2014 Digital Trends February 28 2013.
http www digitaltrends com mobile mobile phone world population 2014 accessed July 13 2013. 5 Internet World Stats http www internetworldstats com stats htm. At the core of today s technological metamorphosis is interpreting how the new tools. apply to the form and function of documentary storytelling Since ancient time the basic. formula was one storyteller typically a wise elder or other designated keeper of the culture. addressing a single audience The structure was typically a linear narrative relating the. exploits of an archetypal hero embarking on a quest to resolve a personal or societal. problem Today the authorial voice is shifting radically Documentary storytelling can be. collective and interactive with global engagement that transcends time and space. asynchronously Think about it Rather than watching a movie in a captive theater space. viewers users can use augmented VR on their mobile devices to walk through a town. square see it as it appeared in the,past and share the experience with. others around the globe They might,interact with historical figures. participate in a virtual event,contribute stories and respond to. others Rather than relying on the,perspective of a designated expert. they might participate in the,crowdsourcing of lesser known data.
We have entered an age of interactive,and immersive documentary It is. Global fundamentally different than the,passive screen based experience The. authorial voice has shifted radically as,has authorship Perhaps the most. revolutionary outcome is that stories,are no longer necessarily linear or. even cohesive The fragmentary,mash up and meme documentaries.
that emerge from clusters of Twitter,feeds and YouTube videos are. continually expanded and reshaped,through the random participation and. contributions of others,Teaching The New Storytellers. So how do we teach documentary storytelling today With so many options students are. understandably overwhelmed We can help students navigate these uncharted waters by. providing clear frameworks for assessing documentary s expanding range of form and. function Older techniques are condensed to accommodate and integrate new ones For. example in my course Advanced Writing for Documentary I begin with a simple exercise. called One Hundred and One Ways to Tell a Story A broad topic such as climate change is. chosen Students form small groups and are tasked with developing the topic into a fully. realized concept for a documentary film,We begin with these core questions such as. What is the purpose of your film,Who are you trying to reach.
What do you want your audience to come away with,What kind of approach do you want to use. We then address more specific questions such as What structure Narrative and character. development Point of view Main character s Experts s Interview style Key themes. Chronology and starting point Aesthetic and artistic treatment Re creations Sound. Design Narration Audience impact Call to action, In the past this exercise has resulted in a range of traditional documentary film concepts. with classic three act structures first person narratives verit and essayistic approaches In. recent years students are conceiving a much wider range of possibilities that include. variations of web social media trans media and participatory approaches I have expanded. the parameters of the course to include emerging concepts forms and approaches Students. now discuss the above exercise and come up with concepts such as the following A global. day in the life of children living in war zones created by crowdsourcing footage with local. filmmakers edited by the filmmakers into webisodes and instantly uploaded on a YouTube. The class discussion includes examining how to engage and motivate multiple audiences. Documentary as a social justice instrument is not new but there is an increasing emphasis. on outreach strategies at the concept stage To this end I ask the students of Advanced. Writing for Documentary to explore these questions. Will your story approach have impact, What distribution strategy will ensure your story resonates with your intended. audience s, How will your creative vision and storytelling ensure your film will rise above the. vast amount of video material being produced today. This course will continue to evolve as will my role as professor The transformation from. idea to treatment embraces a new pedagogical framework that includes a multi modal. multi platform strategy and the rise of the impact producer that is addressed in the next. section Students today look to us for expertise perspective and mentoring We learn from. them ever evolving approaches and tools It is an inspiring dance. Strategic Media Making and Impact Producing,By Larry Kirkman.
Question How do you help students choose the most effective way to reach and engage an. More and more our documentary students are embracing expectations for the social impact. of their work They want to take on issues of critical public importance to tell the stories. portray the characters and provide the evidence and testimony that drive public debate and. promote solutions to social problems, We tell them whatever your purpose to shift public dialogue motivate behavior change. equip activists for advocacy and movement building or change government or corporate. policies think of your role as an impact producer Define your mission articulate your. goals That s the starting point, There is a wide spectrum of narrative strategies but compelling stories and characters are at. the center of social documentary Because great filmmaking delivers impact engages. audiences leads to action to results, Framing and timing are crucial in making mission driven media What is the state of the. issue Is it widely known and debated or neglected and marginalized Assess the. opportunities for impact whether it is changing the conversation or changing the world Is. the time ripe for policy change Or is it the time to build awareness and elevate the issue. Who are the intended audiences Is the goal to consolidate the base or reach beyond the. choir At every stage the filmmaker needs to be goal oriented and user focused. For example environmental groups and children s health organizations worked together to. promote tougher air pollution standards In focus group research they found that target. audiences opposed to federal regulations on principle responded to stories of childhood. asthma They had all seen children use inhalers on the playground and in that context they. accepted the argument that air pollution travels across state borders and requires federal. regulation The coalition framed the issue as a children s health crisis and used the heads of. Children s Hospitals as spokespersons with their local emergency rooms as a backdrop. In the digital environment people more easily migrate from the personal to the. social political from individual needs to collective solutions and public good from empathy. to action from volunteering to systemic change Audiences are surprised by how much they. can know and how much people like them are doing, This migration challenges our theories of change in social campaigning Is the focus on. influencing decision makers to change policies in a legislature or corporate headquarters. Or is the focus on grassroots social mobilization Some films can do both. Many documentaries encompass a spectrum of impacts For example Escape Fire takes on. the whole medical industrial complex advocating both corporate and government policy. changes It shaped Congressional action on Defense funding for the Veteran s Administration. But one of its key impacts was in professional education including a tour of medical schools. and most importantly as part of the curriculum for continuing medical education for doctors. and nurses, The Invisible War s exposure of rape in the U S military and the failure to prosecute rape led.
to extensive Department of Defense and Congressional policy changes It was aimed at elite. decision makers but it also helped empower a community of rape survivors to sustain the. The House I Live In was produced to help end the war on drugs end mass incarceration and. reform sentencing policies Its primary target has been lawmakers and law enforcement but. with a goal of shifting public attitudes reframing drug use as a public health problem and. the war on drugs as a war against US citizens not Narco States The film significantly. contributed to successful state based campaigns against California s Three Strikes Law and. for Connecticut s Juvenile Sentencing Reform Distributed theatrically and broadcast on. Independent Lens it also reached large audiences through partner organizations 80 000. people watched the film in over 500 churches in 34 states There were over 200 professional. screenings And it was screened at both 2012 national political conventions and the White. House to put the drug war on the policy agenda, American Promise did not start out with an impact strategy to improve educational outcomes. for black males It was not until after the filmmakers finished the two hour and 14 minute. film that a series of focus groups conducted by Active Voice identified opportunities with. target audiences In a panel at Center for Media and Social Impact s Media that Matters. annual conference co director Joe Brewster explained how they have produced 40 different. versions of the film to meet the needs of users including a half hour adaption for young. leaders The take action campaign includes discussion guides lesson plans a reading list a. partner toolkit directions on how to organize an event and a professional development. curriculum for educators The campaign has created a grassroots network of parent groups. the Promise Clubs It has had screenings on Capitol Hill to influence policies to support black. male achievement It has worked with hundreds of partner organizations from the United. Way to Mocha Moms The 2014 BRITDOC case study reported 650 community screenings. organized by partner organizations, In 2013 I proposed water as a School wide focus that ultimately involved over 20 courses. in Film and Media Arts as well as courses in Strategic Communications and Journalism and. the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Center for Media and Social Impact Students. were inspired by Jessica Yu s documentary Last Call at the Oasis which covers the totality of. the worldwide water crisis from scarcity and overuse to sanitation pollution and toxic. contamination through the stories of compelling frontline advocates and scientists. The New Storytellers Documentary Filmmaking in the 21st Century Contributing Authors Pat Aufderheide Larry Engel Bill Gentile Lindsay Grace Larry Kirkman Brigid Maher Chris Palmer Maggie Burnette Stogner Russell Williams II Editor Maggie Burnette Stogner Film and Media Arts School of Communication American University Washington DC INTRO Sixty years ago synchronous sound and the

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