This course will provide students with two distinct yet complementary areas of training that will give them the skills and habits of mind they need to tell stories about education and other complex topics in engaging and creative ways. The two core elements of the course are:
- Covering Education. Education provides a rich landscape for students to report on a wide range of interwoven subjects, from politics and pedagogy, to culture, juvenile justice, social inequality, and the art and science of learning. Students will have the opportunity to embed for the semester in a New York City public high school, middle school or elementary school, cultivating sources, knowledge, and story ideas. In seminar, we will discuss tools specific to the beat, including the art and ethics of interviewing children, in the context of public school history and key issues rocking the world of education today. Students will develop a familiarity with the important components of education stories and with their recurring themes and pitfalls. They will do so in both print stories and in video and multimedia productions. It is expected that the print stories will be the first iteration of the story—or stories—that students will ultimately tell in video and multimedia form.
- Video Storytelling & Production. Students will learn both short- and longer-format video storytelling techniques. There is a strong emphasis on best practices in field production and post production. Students are encouraged to apply these techniques creatively in producing compelling works of video journalism. The video workshop component is part field training, part theory and discussion, and part production. Students will produce one long video story or two shorter ones. Students will leave the course comfortable producing short-form and longer-format video pieces suitable for multi-platform and multi-device distribution. Video journalism, like the rest of the journalism world, is rapidly and constantly changing. In response, this workshop will take a look at various technologies, styles, and forms used in video storytelling. A large portion of class time will be spent with instructors working on shooting fundamentals and working towards advanced videography and storytelling techniques. Students will be critiqued on their production skills as well as their reporting and storytelling. Significant classroom time will be spent on advanced editing techniques.
This course is designed for students looking to learn long-form, documentary filmmaking for theatrical release or digital platforms.The workshop component is part field training, part theory and discussion, part production, and part business. Students will produce a documentary film by the end of the course.
A large portion of class time will be spent with instructors working on shooting fundamentals and working towards advanced cinematography and storytelling techniques. A strong emphasis will be placed on visual composition and aesthetics. Students will be critiqued on their production skills as well as their reporting and storytelling.Significant classroom time will be spent on advanced editing techniques.
This course is not designed for those looking to become on-camera correspondents or to produce for network television programming.
This course will focus on documentary storytelling about one of the most exciting and wide-ranging areas of coverage: science and the environment. Students in this course will learn how to report on and think critically about the many facets of this complex beat, which includes disciplines from ecology to public health. Through extensive reading as well as visits with science journalists and researchers studying issues such as climate change, students will learn to how to identify and write compelling stories about science. The stories they write and the issues they explore will lead to the production of short documentary films.
Students will learn advanced principles of field production, as well as sophisticated post-production techniques. The course will focus on shooting techniques, proper audio recording, and narrative storytelling skills. Although there will be theoretical discussions and critiques of professional work, a great deal of class time will be spent in the field in order to strengthen each student's production capabilities. The course will be rigorous and will meet for two full days a week.
The course will work closely with Field of Vision, the documentary unit founded by Laura Poitras. The class will take several trips to the Field of Vision offices to meet and learn from professional filmmakers.