A Guide to Spring 2012 Documentary Film Classes

A Guide to the Spring 2012 Documentary classes.

Spring 2012 Doc Class Sampler
It's that time of the year again – time to register for next semester's classes! In order to make planning your schedule a bit easier, we have compiled this helpful guide consisting of a list of the documentary related classes being offered in the spring, along with some flyers and supplemental material for many of them providing extra description. Enjoy!

24 -1810 Topics In Documentary Studies
01 The Music Documentary Stacy Thornton Mon 06:30 PM – 09:20 PM
02 Featured Artists Daniel Rybicky Tue 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM
03 Animating Reality Anu Rana Thu 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer
04 Bite Me: Food Docs Hannah Dallman Thu 06:30 PM – 09:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer
05 Documenting Reality Martin Bernstein Fri 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM
06 The Protest Documentary Tom Weinberg Thu 03:30 PM – 06:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer
07 Chicago, My kind of Town Jeff Spitz Tue 09:00 AM – 11:50 AM
* Click Here for Flyer

24-2806 Documentary Research & Writing
01 Jeffrey M Spitz Tue 03:30 PM – 06:20 PM

24-2807 Documentary Storytelling
01 Jeffrey M Spitz Mon 03:30 PM – 06:20 PM
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02 Daniel A Rybicky Wed 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM

24-2809 Documentary Production I: Basic Field Production
01 Steve Golden Fri-Sat 1/20-1/21 09:00 AM – 04:50 PM
* Click Here for Flyer
24-2815 Documentary Production II: Intermediate Field Production
01 Steve Golden Fri-Sat 1/27-1/28 09:00 AM – 04:50 PM
* Click Here for Flyer
24-2812 The Interview: Lighting, Shooting, and Sound Acquisition
01 Steve Golden Fri-Sat 2/3-2/4 09:00 AM – 04:50 PM
* Click Here for Flyer

24-3801 Documentary Projects
01 Ruth Leitman Mon 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer

24-3820 Topics In Documentary Production
01 Pop Culture Documentary Ruth Leitman Mon 09:00 AM – 11:50 AM
* Click Here for Flyer
02 Experimental Doc Production Mehrnaz Saeedvafa Tue 09:00 AM – 11:50 AM

24-4403 Editing the Documentary
01 Peter Thompson Tue 06:00 PM – 09:50 PM
02 Sharon L. Zurek Tue 01:00 PM – 04:50 PM

24-4810 Producing the Documentary
01 Tracy Ullman Wed 06:30 PM – 09:20 PM

24-4852 /5852 The Documentary Production Team
01 Naomi Walker / Anuradha Rana Tue 12:30 PM – 03:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer

40-3340 Documenting Social Injustice (TV DEPT)
01 Laurie Little Tue 06:30 PM – 09:20 PM
* Click Here for Flyer

Viva Doc Alumn Wins Student Academy Award

There was no doubt in anybody’s mind that Wonjung Bae is one of the rising young stars in the documentary production field.  She has a considerable knack for capturing emotions and tones, while always having a realistic mindset about what logistics productions will entail.

Wonjung accepting her Student Academy Award

We were so happy for Wonjung when, over the summer, we got on update that she had received a Student Academy Award (probably the highest award a student filmmaker can receive) for her documentary “Vera Klement: Blunt Edge.”  The short film covers the artistic process and inspiration of Vera, a painter living in Skokie, surrounding the events of her 80th birthday party.  It includes Vera’s quirky, yet serious mannerisms, while the gorgeous cinematography mimics Vera’s art itself.  You can watch a previous cut of the film here, and another artist portrait film of hers here.

We would like to congratulate Wonjung on her success, and wish her the best in the future.  She completed her masters degree and graduated last May.

Watch her acceptance speech here:

Viva Doc Alumns at Kartemquin Films

One of the advantages of being involved with Viva Doc is meeting industry professionals and other great networking opportunities.

Recently, Viva Doc is proud to announce that a number of our current members and alumns have found themselves interning and even working for esteemed, award-winning documentary production companies (including Towers, Kurtis, and Kartemquin).

Viva Doc alumns Naomi Kothbauer, Jeff Perlman, Mary Horan, Patrick Lile, Jonathon Vogel, and Orion Pahl are among some of those who have interned with Kartemquin Films.  Jeff was recently hired on  for part-time outreach work, and Patrick has been also hired on to do outreach for The Interrupters, a new film from the makers of Hoop Dreams which is already being called a potential Oscar contender.

We interviewed Naomi Kothbauer (last year's Viva Doc president) about her experience interning for Kartemquin Films.  If you are considering getting an internship, there are some great tidbits of advice below.  And as always, please come to our meetings this semester for more workshops and networking events that can prepare you for an internship.

Jeff Perlman (right), Viva Doc alumn, has been helping out at Kartemquin

Viva Doc: So, tell us about your general experience with internships?

Naomi: Well, I've had three so far…my senior year, I interned at Towers and Kurtis, and I just wrapped up a summer internship at Kartemquin.

Viva Doc: What is the internship application process like?

Naomi: Well, it really depends on the place.  No matter what, though, it's important that you follow the directions they supply.  Deadlines, references, application forms…all that.  Violate anything and you are automatically disqualified.  Internships are highly competitive, so if they see something wrong, they will usually toss that application just to thin out the pile.  Same thing with film festivals, usually.  And as far as Kartemquin is concerned, I (and many others) had to apply twice or even three times to finally get an internship.  The first time I applied, I didn't even get an interview because over 200 people had applied for just 5 positions.  So, don't get discouraged if you don't get a call back after your first time applying somewhere.  Just consider it to be a chance to strengthen your resume for the next time you apply.  The more you apply, the more they know that you're really serious about the internship and about committing yourself to their work.

Viva Doc: What did you like most about the Kartemquin internship?

Naomi: There was so much, honestly.  In general, internships can kind of drag when you're stuck doing a lot of the tedious work, but with Kartemquin, they tried to get the interns involved with a lot of different processes.  I got to go on shoots, transcribe, help with social media/marketing/PR, and every week they had workshops where the interns got to learn from Kartemquin filmmakers.

Viva Doc: What are you experiences with internships and pay?

Naomi: Well, due to the economy, most internships don't offer pay.  But it's important that you communicate clearly with them from the get-go so that you reach a mutually-beneficial agreement.  You interning is important, but you working and being able to pay your bills is also important.  Especially if you're interning, working, and taking classes…try to not overdo it.  You'll get burnt out really fast.

Viva Doc: What kind of advantage has Viva Doc given you and others when it comes to getting internships?

Naomi: Well, Viva Doc has always offered a lot of opportunities for students to interact with people working in the field.  Networking is so important.  Also, Viva Doc has hosted a few industry professional peer-review sessions where professionals come in and rate student films, and so far many of the Viva Doc members who have shown their films to Kartemquin folks have also gotten internships there.

Viva Doc: What are some tips for those who are looking to build their resumes/filmographies?

Naomi: One of the best things you can do is to consider yourself a brand.  You're essentially selling yourself to them, so think about what kind of imagery you want on your website, your resume, your business cards, etc.  It should be unique and speak of your skills.  Also, for those folks who don't have a lot of work or film experience, just think about the transferrable skills you learned from various things and infuse that language into your resume.  For example, I worked as a shift manager at McDonald's in high school, so in my resume I put a short description like “managed a diverse group of people and helped them perform their best in a high-stress environment.”  I told them what I accomplished at that job, not just what I did.  Nobody cares that I made burgers or handed food out of a drive-thru, or at least, not literally.  My accomplishments, however, could be easily related to a film/production environment.  If you're looking to get an editing gig, try to highlight your organizational skills, no matter the job.  If you're looking for something that involves a lot of interpersonal interaction, try highlighting social skills and group settings in job descriptions.  You know, that sort of thing.

Viva Doc: Thanks for your feedback, Naomi.  We hope to continue our tradition of connecting Viva Doc members to internship and job opportunities!

For Those Who Struggle

Friday, September 9, 2011, 6 – 9pm
Batey Urbano
2620 W. Division
Chicago, IL

Batey Urbano Presents: “For the people who struggle”
Matt Mcanna is a student at Columbia College Chicago.  The documentary, For Those Who Struggle, began as a class project during the 2011 Spring Semester. Well received by his class and professor, Mcanna extended the scope of the video.

Oscar López Rivera is one of the longest held political prisoners in the world. He has been incarcerated since 1981 in U.S. prisons for struggling for Puerto Rican independence. Unfortunately, not enough is known about Oscar, his life and impact on Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican/Latino community in Chicago. This short documentary hopes to stimulate conversation and for his release. Free Oscar!

For more information visit: boricuahumanrights.org.

Posted By
JaKe

Also, the documentary is archived online here, though I strongly recommend attending the screening.

For those of you who are new to Public Transit you could use the public transit tab on google.com/maps.

OR ride either the Red or Blue line train up to Division.  Hop on a #70 Bus West.  Hop off at Rockwell.  See you there.


Greenwald Provides Students Insight into Documentary Filmmaking

Director and producer Robert Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films

In the Ferguson Theater at Columbia College Chicago on May 6th, documentary filmmaker and founder of Brave New Films, Robert Greenwald, participated in a live streaming discussion following a screening of “Rethink Afghanistan.”

Greenwald explained why the concept of Brave New Theaters was developed and talked about how it had revolutionized how filmmakers distribute their films. He cautioned that while this does help filmmakers set up screenings and make people aware of their film it does not guarantee an automatic audience.

Greenwald talked about “Rethink Afghanistan” and his other films may have catalyzed audiences to take action.

When asked where the story of the U.S. conflict in Afghanistan was at right now, he provided into the situation by saying that you do not truly grasp that this is the third poorest country in the world until you get off the plane and walk around with the people.

Greenwald shared a story about how Flip cameras are being given to Afghanis so that they can document their story. He mentioned that doing this is very cost-efficient for an organization that may be strapped for cash.

And, that's why the media isn't covering the war in Afghanistan as much as it should be. The story is not in the news regularly because news have cut back on the use of foreign correspondents or investigative reporters.

Greenwald got into this and opened up on why students might not be organizing against the war as they did during the Vietnam War (“The draft”). He also said in terms of pushing the political elites to tune into the subject and rethink the war emphasizing that the war does not make America or Afghanistan safer.

The security argument, according to Greenwald, was one that needs to be consistently made because a country might spend any amount of money on a conflict if it is perceived that the war is keeping the country safe, but if it can be proven that it is not, then you create an opening for ending the conflict.

While the film was released in 2009, the work that is being done with this film continues. Outreach and engagement is why this film continues to pick up fans.

Here's a video that Greenwald put together for Mother's Day.

Submit Your Film to the ISDC!

http://journalism.berkeley.edu/media/images/section/documentary.jpg

The International Student Documentary Competition (ISDC) is currently accepting student documentary submissions from all over the world.

The ISDC is —

…a celebration of student filmmakers from around the world. Students from recognized institutions of higher education with instruction in filmmaking at the undergraduate or graduate level are invited to submit documentaries which have been completed as course work. The work can be originated in any format, style and on any subject, with a maximum length of 30 minutes. Entries must fit into one of the five categories of the competition. Films are pre-selected by a panel of Columbia College documentary faculty and graduate documentary students.

For more visit the ISDC website.

Viva Docsters in Link TV "One Chicago, One Nation" Contest

“We're Taking Our Country Back” is a short documentary Columbia College alum Parson Brown and senior documentary student Kevin Gosztola worked on for the “One Chicago, One Nation” Online Video Contest. It takes a look at the challenges communities face culturally, politically, and socially as a result of a growing faction in America known as the Tea Party. It asks communities to consider how they plan to confront the growing threat to public services and social safety nets in communities as a result of an agenda that cries out against Big Government, which is being pushed by Americans who despise America's first African-American president.

Please consider getting a username, logging in, watching the film, rating it, and even leaving a comment. Thank you.

Also, International Student Documentary Competition (ISDC) coordinator and Viva Documentary advisor Anuradha Rana and Columbia television instructor Laurie Little have a short, “Disability Pride” in the contest.

Their film:

“…weaves 'on the street' interviews with verite footage of the 6th Annual Disability Pride Parade in 2009, to convey human experiences that promote pride through the belief that disability is a natural part of human diversity, and should be celebrated. The parade, held every year in Chicago, is the first of its kind in the world and people travel far and wide to attend the event. The next parade is on July 24, 2010 and the filmmaker's hope that this film can persuade more people to attend and show their support for Disability Rights.”

The two filmmakers have already received pages of comments and many, many votes making it highly likely they will be one of the finalists in the Documentary category. And, if you haven't voted and left a comment yet, please do.

The contest ends April 30th. If anymore Viva Docsters post videos, they will be posted here.

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New Documentary Explores Coca-Cola’s Assassination of Colombian Union Leaders

A post on AlterNet.org details the new documentary, “The Coca-Cola Case,” which “chronicles the relentless efforts of American lawyers trying to take the soft drink giant to court over the killings of 10 union leaders, who represented workers at Coke bottling plants in Colombia.”

The post says of the film:

The documentary splits its time nicely between two battles: the court fight waged by Daniel Kovalik, lawyer for the United Steelworkers union, on behalf of Columbian union members, and the public awareness crusade of Ray Rogers, who directed the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.

Well-shot and polished, this social justice procedural can sometimes lag — primarily because it relies on talking heads and doesn't delve enough into the lives of Coke workers and those of the brave union activists in Colombia. Of course, the directors — German Guiterrez and Carmen Garcia — would have made many editorial decisions regarding their focus. I just would have appreciated just a little more on the daily struggles of the unionists.

That aside, “The Coca-Cola Case” is a fascinating portrayal of corporate irresponsibility and greed. Kovalik himself is a great character, one who tirelessly pours himself into the cause as he spearheads the legal battle to get compensation for the families of the dead unionists.

For more, click here.

*Here's the trailer:

World Shorts ISDC Fundraiser & More

6 Days of Doc Wednesday 4/28

Wednesday 4/28
Bake Sale… 12-5pm in the 1104 S. Wabash lobby… interested in baking?
Contact Mitch at wenkusproductions@gmail.com

Thursday 4/29:
Come support doc filmmaker Zach Mehrbach at Big Screen, starting at 7pm. Big Screen will be in the Film Row Cinema on the 8th Floor of the 1104 S. Wabash Building

Sunday, 5/2:
“World Shorts” fundraiser for the ISDC, $10 at the Viaduct Theatre @8pm, with performances by Pet Peeve, Jon Drake & the Shakes, and the Gentlemen's Guild. Prizes for person wearing the best shorts!

Monday, 5/3:
Looking for Democracy Film Fest in Film Row Cinema from 5pm-8pm, brought to you by the Illinois Humanities Council:
http://www.prairie.org/events/23717/art-hurts-art-urges-voyages-looking-democracy-film-contest-screening

Wednesday, 5/5
Check out dir. Brent Day's “Farm 2 Fork” doc about local organic farming. 4-6pm, Hokin Lecture Hall, 623 S. Wabash. Discussion to follow.


Thursday, 5/6:
“An Evening of Brave New Films” screening featuring 'Rethink Afghanistan' and live Skype Q&A with dir. Robert Greenwald. Doors open at 6pm at the Ferguson Lecture Hall in the 600 S. Michigan Building. Screening begins at 6:30 pm. Q&A at 8:15 pm after the screening. For more, visit bravenewfilms.org and bravenewtheaters.com.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/27482344_0f1038ad3e.jpg

6 Days of Doc Events


Upcoming Events:

Wednesday 4/28:
Bake Sale… 12-5pm in the 1104 S. Wabash lobby… interested in baking?
Contact Mitch at wenkusproductions@gmail.com

Thursday 4/29:
Come support doc filmmaker Zach Mehrbach at Big Screen, starting at 7pm. Big Screen will be in the Film Row Cinema on the 8th Floor of the 1104 S. Wabash Building

Sunday, 5/2:
“World Shorts” fundraiser for the ISDC, $10 at the Viaduct Theatre @8pm, with performances by Pet Peeve, Jon Drake & the Shakes, and the Gentlemen's Guild.  Prizes for person wearing the best shorts!

Monday, 5/3:
Looking for Democracy Film Fest in Film Row Cinema from 5pm-8pm, brought to you by the Illinois Humanities Council:
http://www.prairie.org/events/23717/art-hurts-art-urges-voyages-looking-democracy-film-contest-screening

Wednesday, 5/5:
Check out dir. Brent Day's “Farm 2 Fork” doc about local organic farming.  4-6pm, Hokin Lecture Hall, 623 S. Wabash. Discussion to follow.


Thursday, 5/6:
“An Evening of Brave New Films” screening featuring 'Rethink Afghanistan' and live Skype Q&A with dir. Robert Greenwald. Doors open at 6pm at the Ferguson Lecture Hall in the 600 S. Michigan Building. Screening begins at 6:30 pm. Q&A at 8:15 pm after the screening. For more, visit bravenewfilms.org and bravenewtheaters.com.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/27482344_0f1038ad3e.jpg

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