Cross Cultural Documentary Research & Production in Korea

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Course Details

Title Cross Cultural Documentary Research & Production in Korea
Field of Study Media
Professor hanyang (
Type Academic course
Credits 3
Contact hours 45
Schedule Evening
Course code ISS1003
Course number 18075
Description Course Overview: This intensive research and production course explores a wide variety of styles and approaches to documentary production, creating a knowledge base that students can draw on to produce a short and impactful cross-cultural documentary film on a topic of their choice. During your time at HISS, students will learn to implement the rudiments of creating a documentary film. Aspects of preproduction (idea conception, research), production (camera work, interview), and postproduction (sound and picture editing) are introduced as students create their team projects. This course is organized as a lab/lecture course. Class sessions will feature lectures, film screenings and discussions. Labs and workshops will concentrate on hands on technical instruction and critiques of student work. Research students will simultaneously compile project specific research and formulate ideas for their group documentary. Cross-Cultural Documentary Research & Production in South Korea is a course designed to open the gateway for students to explore their talents and interests in cross-cultural workplaces and collaboration. As the world is becoming increasingly interdependent and globalization is taking effect on cultures and economics, it is essential for us to truly prepare ourselves with opportunities that will assist with our future transitions into the global workplace. This course serves as a bridge for students of all disciplines between theory and discussion to skills learned for their disciplines. We will take this bridge to a new level of practicality and reality in international teamwork, as this class will be open not only to Hanyang University students in Korea but to other students from all over the world as well.
Objective Student Learning Outcomes: On completion of this course, the students will have intensively engaged in the study and practice of nonfiction filmmaking and will possess a wide-ranging set of skills and aesthetic capabilities in the preproduction, production and post-production aspects of the documentary. Students will have a full knowledge of documentary construction, research, planning, and production techniques. Students will be able to creatively examine the ethical, and collaborative relationships between the filmmakers themselves and subjects from cultures other than their own. Research oriented students will foster their research skills through managing production schedules, locating and confirming interviews, presenting their subjects and story ideas to their classmates and collaborating with international production students/Korean national students. Research students will also coherently organize their subject material in a formal report (length at instructor’s discretion). The final outcome of this project for all students will focus on collaboration skills and management skills while using and challenging the academics and perspectives that they have acquired in their education.    
Preparations Teaching Strategies: Students in the class will work in teams of three or four in the creation of under twenty-minute duration documentaries. The filmmakers will share in the variegated tasks of preproduction, production and postproduction. Researchers will present their academic interests and potential/confirmed subjects whom they would like to document. The projects will be shot and edited on HD format and will be edited on the nonlinear editing system of the group’s choice. The documentaries will be heavily developed prior to production through both research and the production of a series of documents commencing with conceptual descriptions, treatments and outlines. Course Requirements: Complete all assigned material before the due date specified in the course schedule. Type all work written outside of class. Participate in discussions and activities. Be on time for class discussion and editing sessions. Turn in a completed final project with titles and sound. EVERYONE (production students and research students) will assist in the production of all visual assignments and papers, regardless of assigned role for production. You should realize that this class requires a substantial commitment of your time and energy. Documentary editing particularly is a laborious process, so if you plan on staying in the class, be prepared to put in a lot of hours. Attendance is expected and required for this class. If you are a crewmember and have agreed to assist on a shoot and find you must be absent, please let others in your crew know in advance so that they can find a replacement. Missed shoots are unprofessional and will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to keep in contact with me if you will miss class. Evaluation of Finished Projects: Any film production can be evaluated on the basis of the categories described below. Each one of the categories below constitutes an aspect of the evaluation of the final production. Also considered are the film’s purpose, and intent. For the specific key points for grading, see the explanation of each assignment. 1. AUDIO: This has to do with all the sound sources used, whether prerecorded or live, the quality and intelligibility of the human voice, balance, quality, appropriateness of music, and sound effects. 2. COMPOSITION: The way visual elements in a given shot are framed (tight or loose), the achieving of a focus of attention, the dynamics of lines, pictorial design. 3. LIGHTING: Includes the appropriateness of the lighting to the setting and staging. Does the lighting clarify the image? Does it look believable in terms of the sources motivating the light? Does it invoke the correct mood? Does it create three-dimensionality? 4. PACE: The tempo or speed at which elements occur in a production. It can involve the rate of editing, camera movement, speech, beat of music or sound effect, and is perceived as the overall speed of a production 5. RHYTHM: Rhythm involves both sight and sound and is perceived as measured or erratic. Visual rhythms occur in a relationship of time and space and involve subject movement, camera movement, and a sense of movement caused by transitions achieved in either ‘hot’ editing or post-production editing. 6. RESEARCH & CREATIVITY: Does it show your creative idea, uniqueness, and your personal voice? Explanation of Assignments: 1. FINAL PROJECT (Max final length 20 minutes / 300 POINTS) Students in the class will work in teams of three or four in the creation of 20-minute (maximum length) documentaries. The filmmakers will share in the variegated tasks of preproduction, production and postproduction. The projects will be shot and edited on DV format and will be edited on the Final Cut Pro edit systems. The documentaries will be heavily developed prior to production through both research and the production of a series of documents commencing with conceptual descriptions and including treatments as well as outlines. After group research and discussion, select an idea and topic that you are personally interested in. Then, the groups will develop this idea to form a basic structure/outline for their documentary. Collaboration is a key point to make a successful documentary. Group members should meet daily to discuss development of ideas and structure. You will need to organize and structure your idea to communicate your own particular point of view on these subjects. In addition, groups will need to pay close attention to different styles of documentary and production approach and carefully choose their approach. Major group members’ roll: 1. Researcher / Writer 2. Director 3. Producer / Production Manager 4. DP 5. Sound Recordist 6. Editor “The Team Spirit” is the most important!! Filmmaking is a collaborative art. Every crewmember is faced with decisions large and small that contribute many elements to a film. If they do not bring some measure of creativity to these decisions, the project will suffer. Nothing is more destructive than having people around who clearly want to be elsewhere, for whatever reason, be it immaturity, ignorance of their role, or other excuses for being unproductive. Successful completion of this film requires: 1. A clear, well-articulated, well-designed documentary 2. Meaningful mise-en-scene and composition 3. The complexity and interest given to the creation and selection of images 4. The quality and selection of audio 5. The level of sophistication of editing 6. The level of involvement and attention given to the project (this includes notes, pre-production planning, conversations with your group members, number of hours spent in the editing room, as well as the intellectual and emotional development of your thinking with your project.) 7. Submission of a properly labeled movie file for the final screening (50 points) 8. The clarity and complexity of your edited film. Questions to ask and answer are: Is the intention of the filmmaker clear? Is the audience able to follow the story, set of images, argument that you are setting forth? How deeply and in which areas does this piece explore cinematic space including the space the sound creates? On which levels and how well does this piece deal with editing issues of space, rhythmic, graphic and temporal structure? 2. NATURAL SOUND PIECE (3-4 Minutes / 150 Points) This assignment will give students the opportunity to explore how to convey events or situations in a documentary format to the audience. For this assignment, each group will shoot a 3 to 4 minute "natural sound piece" that describes a place and/or a process (B-roll). This event or situation can be one that the group will include as a Broll in their final project, or just an interesting event that the group would like to cover (cultural festival, political event, something in Seoul, etc.). By using techniques learned in class, student groups will focus on using natural sound to deliver/describe an event to their audience. Group members will meet to discuss the selection of event, intended message of event, techniques that they will use to convey their message. We will focus particularly on selection of shots (shot size, angle, etc.) and other cinematic techniques to fully employ the use of natural sound/live events to convey a message/information to the audience. 3. INTERVIEW (3-5 minutes / 150 points) It could go without saying that interviewing is a major factor for a successful documentary. So, with this in mind, students will have a separate interview assignment to prepare them for effective interviewing for their final projects. Students will pick one interviewee, who can be part of their treatment for their final project or just an interesting individual to complete this assignment. Each group will produce a 3-5-minute long interview. Given the nature of unpredictable responses from interviewees, student groups will meet before the interview to draft questions and fully explore their reason/purpose for their interview (What is the goal of the interview? What do you want to say to the audience from this interview?) Students will also think about the different sections that this interviewee could possibly fit into for their own documentary, or for another documentary. In other words, make this interview have a clear motivation and a feeling of focus for a larger picture, regardless if it will be in your final documentary or not. Technically, we will prepare for this assignment by considering and learning lighting setup and microphone techniques, effective shot size, camera angles and effective ways to question interviewees to produce desired natural sounding responses/direction of the interview. With your group, also discuss the techniques in class to figure out the most appropriate choices for the interview. 4. RESEARCH PAPER (Minimum 5 page single spaced / 200 POINTS) The basic breakdown of the research paper: 1. EVERYONE must include the group’s treatment for their final project. 2. This critical concept paper will include the treatment for the film, background on subjects and issues and a CRITICAL perspective on both the issues and the subjects. This paper will have a MAIN FOCUS (ex: attitudes of interviewees, your perspective on the social issues in Korea that you researched, etc.). Please expand to your fullest capabilities to present a clear, well thought out platform in your paper. You should have enough research to create a solid 1/3-1/2 of your paper. If you are familiar with political science/social science/literature response writing, you should use those skills to structure and guide you to write this paper. It is pretty free as far as content, so feel free to take it wherever you want. You may meet with me to discuss any issues for this paper: length, content, etc. Do not hesitate! ****** REMEMBER! All papers are to be SINGLE SPACED and turned in ON TIME! ****** 5. PRESENTATION AND PROPOSAL (10-15 MINUTES / 100 POINTS) Since the research and pre-production for documentary production is really important and essential, you have to present your pre-production process for the final project to other students. This ten to fifteen-minute presentation has to cover main ideas/topics for film, budget plan, shooting schedule, location, major interviewees, equipment, props and so on. Then, we will have a discussion and get some feedback from other students. Successful completion of this presentation/proposal requires covering: 1. Film statement (major topic and story treatment) 2. What is the documentary about? What is the main story? 3. Program objectives 4. Explain why it would be interesting and important to a general audience. What’s your goal? 5. Approach, structure, and style (Outlines) 6. Shooting schedule 7. Budget 8. Crew organization 9. Major interviewees (if needed) 10. Major locations Equipment List Materials: REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Professor Rappa will provide a PDF file of the required course-reader titled: Cross-Cultural Documentary Research & Production in South Korea Study Guide REQUIRED MATERIALS: Laptop computer for editing 1 SDHC Memory Card (64GB, Class 10) USB 3 External Hard Drive (to store and edit footage)
Materials Cross-Cultural Documentary Research and Production_Bradley Allen Rappa
Lesson Plan
Last Updated April 15, 2022
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