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MDOCS 2018 Spring Course Offerings

October 27, 2017

MDOCS' spring semester classes offer a mix of the old and the new in Documentary Studies (DS), from introductory courses designed to offer background and production fundamentals for those who want to explore and develop basic skills in mapping and 360-degree audio/video projects or help alumni incubate an innovative new app, to advanced courses honing filmmaking and collaborative skills and inviting experimentation across storytelling methods.

DS introductory courses invite students to get a foundation in documentary approaches and traditions with "Principles of Documentary," develop a toolkit in documentary film production, get support for a film or photography project developed for another course or on your own in "Video Projects" and explore different media projects in courses on participatory documentary. New this semester is a course inviting students to adapt their research, undertaken in any course from biology to social work, through multimedia. 

Video Skills StoryMap Field Trip to Wave Farm Interviewing
DSLR Workkflow for Video Story Map Wave Farm field trip, 2017 Learning to Interview

For more advanced students, delve deeper and apply advanced skills to long-term projects that may extend over a semester in courses developed and taught by professionals, including crew-based film production, documentary practice in photography, documenting makers and multimedia storytelling. Beyond DS, students can learn about the legal and ethical challenges and solutions in media production (MFS), consider the storytelling in the photo essay (EN) and engage in social activism through video ethnography (ID).

Who should take a class?  DS courses are open to all Skidmore students. The program's goal is to encourage students from any major or skill set to try something new, to see if a medium speaks to them, and to push their research projects a step further with the combination of media and nonfiction storytelling. It's just as important as those with stories to tell to appreciate the power of documentary as it is for those who see themselves as future mediamakers. 

A brief description of DS and related courses appears below. Visit the MDOCS Spring Courses page for more details.

Note: All courses listed as DS count toward Skidmore College's media and film studies minor.

Production Fundamentals (DS 100 level)

Storytelling: Map Design and Spatial Visualization, T.Hart (1 credit)
Explore map design, complex presentation strategies and story mapping.

360 Degree Audio Video and Photogrammetry, P. Hembree (2) —New!
Shoot 360-video and audio and produce photogrammetry of stationary images.

Documentary Studies (DS 200- and 300-level)

Principles of Documentary, J. Dym (3)
Gateway course to the Documentary Studies Collaborative.

Documentary Film Production: Form and Content, S. Friedland (4)
Learn about style and craft in non-fiction film and create your own documentary film.

Documenting Makers: Writing and Filming Artist Profiles, M. Woodworth (3)
Produce a written profile and documentary film about a creative life from your perspective.

Participatory Documentary, Socially Engaged Art and Community Media, A. Tinkle (3) —New!
Study socially engaged art including participatory performances, community-based media and media justice.

Crew-Based Film Doc and Narrative Production, V. Riley and N. Coady (4)
Work within a crew to create films of a professional caliber.

Documentary Practice in Photography (7 weeks, March 21–May 1), D. Harris (2) —New!
Appreciate the power of doc photo and discuss the photographer's power in shaping what we see.

Creative Research, Multimedia Storytelling, A. Tinkle (4) —New!
Explore the connections between research and creative making while taking on a project of your own.


Video Projects, R. Taylor (1)
Develop a doc project based on existing or in-progress research in any discipline.

Digital Access Incubator Project, J. Story and N. Kernis (1) —New!
Help develop a web/mobile app and resource to lower the impact of structural violence experienced by marginalized groups.

Cross-Listed and Across the Curriculum

The Photo Essay, M. Wiseman (3)
EN 228: Study the significant distinction between a collection, exhibition and a set of photos on a single subject.

Law and Ethics for Media, S. Mulligan (3)
MF 351: Explore the various legal, ethical and practical issues involved in varying media production forms.

Testing the Limits of Documentary Practice, C. Aldarondo (3)
EN 3631: Explore the various legal, ethical and practical issues involved in varying media production forms.

Video Ethnography in Saratoga Community, R. Scarce (4)
ID 351: Work collaboratively to create a documentary film for a community activist organization.  Application on request from instructor.