464 Stories (Fall 2011)
The course is called 464 Documentary & Diversity - and the premise is: everyone has a story to tell, and sound is a natural for storytelling, whether you are listening on radio or through the internet.
It's been awhile since I blogged here, but I would like to welcome you to a new batch of audio documentaries by student documentarians. For most, this has been their first experience with producing a documentary, from idea to production to creating a blog about it.
You will find an interesting range of topics. So slip on your headphones and enjoy what they have prepared for you.
What makes a good documentary - the production quality (levels, use of microphones, editing and transitions), the aesthetics (use of sound elements, creating a setting through sound), the organization and content, and overall ability to communicate a story to an audience. And there are many intangible qualities to a good documentary, and those come with experience and love of a subject.
Sometimes the idea is the most difficult challenge when even considering producing a documentary. It helps to have a connection to your subject or to research a subject so well you feel connnected. That was the goal of this semester, to help students move in that direction - to find that connection with their subject. Hear for yourself.
[Some of these blog links may become inactive over time.]
Apple of My Eye Audio Only
Mixed Race in America
Paul Chancey (advisory: low audio levels)
Joshua Anagnos (advisory: low audio levels)
and last, but certainly not least....
The Making of a Saint
The Fall 2010 Project: The Tragedy of Bataan. A documentary by award-winning producer Associate Professor Jan Thompson aired Fall 2010 on WSIU TV and WSIU-FM on "the horrors of the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese and the Bataan Death March in the spring of 1942....Kelly Caringer, a teaching assistant and graduate student in Associate Professor Phylis Johnson's Advanced Audio Production class, coordinated the five radio pieces..." Audio students were involved in the initial round of editing and creating foley, and gained valuable first-hand real world experience working with Thompson, an on-site accomplished international documentarian. See here for more information about her project and student involvement. Here's an update on Thompson's project.