John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative
Saratoga National Historical ParkDocumentary Project
Looking For: Sophomores Juniors Seniors
Prerequisites: some US history and/or film production skills
Saratoga National Historical Park Video Project Proposal: Victory Woods Virtual Tour Fall 2015 semester Goal: A team of two Skidmore College students will complete an approved 1-credit project culminating in the creation a 3+ minute video delivering an engaging virtual tour of Victory Woods, part of Saratoga National Historical Park, to be included as part of the park’s website-based virtual tour options. Background: Saratoga National Historical Park, approximately 20 minutes from Skidmore College, has been long-recognized as the “Turning Point of the American Revolution” and has been called the “most important battle in the last 1000 years,” as this pivotal American victory secured international support for the nascent United States, helped secure American independence, and planted ideological seeds of freedom around the world. Four sites comprise Saratoga National Historical Park: Saratoga Battlefield, General Philip Schuyler House, Saratoga Monument, and Victory Woods. The park’s website has virtual tour elements for the first three component sites, including a video on Schuyler House, but nothing for Victory Woods. Victory Woods is a 22-acre area, in the current Village of Victory, where British forces under General John Burgoyne were encamped and surrounded by American forces under General Horatio Gates following the Battles of Saratoga, some eight miles south. Having retreated to this ridge top, and with their northerly retreat route blocked by American forces, the British made a last, desperate stand before surrendering to the Americans on October 17, 1777. Plan: A team of two students from Skidmore College, one with a concentration in/preparation in American history, the other with some experience in video filming and production, will work with a park ranger(s) from Saratoga NHP to create a virtual tour of Victory Woods for the park’s website. The students will research the Battles of Saratoga, tour Saratoga NHP, explore Victory Woods for site understanding, meet with the assigned park ranger to discuss park needs and institutional requirements (graphic elements, design needs, media release requirements, accepted file types) as well as existing media files (still photos, B-roll video, etc.), develop a timeline for project work, write and edit a script, shoot needed A- and B-roll video, obtain other needed media files, create and edit the film, and deliver the finished video to park staff for their website.