UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

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Department News

New Spring 2015 Elective


Film 186: Documentary & Non-Fiction Film Production - Weds & Fri. 2-5pm
This workshop class focuses on practices and techniques of non-fiction digital filmmaking. Course work consists of a series of short image and sound exercises and then a final film project of your own design. The class examines important techniques of non-fiction film, such as research and writing for non-fiction, the observational camera, filming in public, the interview, voiceover, working with archival film and other documents, as well as editing techniques—working to find form and structure for non-fiction materials. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to hone our eyes and ears to the world around us and on mining the richness of cinematic language to tell our stories. At the same time, we explore the different modes of the Documentary genre including observational, ethnographic, biographic/historical, agit/prop and activist forms, and as well, more expanded approaches such as essay, poetic, autobiography, archival forms. Through our projects, we will address some of the thorny theoretical and ethical issues that arise in non-fiction production such as point of view, the position of the filmmaker in relation to her subject, the politics of representation, real or imagined lines between fact and fiction, and the limits of representation. The course consists of twice-weekly meetings.