Anytown, USA

Anytown, USA is an advanced seminar in which each student produces and edits an eight- to twelve-minute video on a topic of their choice based in an interesting small town, village, or community. Students will be encouraged to explore genre, technique, form, and their personal artistic vision in creating their short documentary. The instructor will pre-produce a number of potential topics within the community to be profiled. While students will be encouraged to focus their films on one of the pre-produced topics, they won’t be limited to those topics—they may “find” their own documentary within the community.

We’ll start production the third week. Each week, students will review each other’s footage, story structure, and edits. At the end of the course the films will be screened in the community. Previous Anytown courses have been profiled on WUNC’s The State of Things. Last year's Anytown videos can be seen here. This class is ideal for students who have taken or are taking introductory production and editing courses and would like to apply their knowledge, or for those with basic production skills seeking more experience. Students must have access to a video camera, tripod, and a lavalier microphone. (20 hours/Advanced)

Randolph Benson is a graduate of Wake Forest University and of the North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Filmmaking. His film Man and Dog has appeared in film festivals worldwide and has garnered numerous awards, most notably a Gold Medal in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards. His work has been featured on HBO, Bravo, the Independent Film Channel, numerous public television stations, Canal Plus–France, Telewizja Polska S.A.–Poland, and KBS-Korea. Benson received an Eastman Kodak Excellence in Filmmaking Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a First Appearance Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Additional information:
Instructor permission is required to register. Send request to [email protected] Participants must provide their own video camera with external microphone input. Participants will be responsible for some personal costs while on location: food, lodging, travel, etc. Some videomaking experience is highly recommended.

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Center for Documentary Studies
Room 001
Benson 3/6 - 5/8 We 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM $350.00 View

Multi-media Installation Lab

What world do you want to create and how do you want it to hold your stories? How do you use trash or junk to create art?  In this class, students will learn how to construct 3D interactive spaces with reclaimed items that can be used as a digital canvas to tell a story, including how others fit into it. Maybe you want to create a site of healing, resistance, witness, ritual? Or maybe a science fiction utopia? Or something else entirely? Participants might work with video, computational media, projection mapping, photography, sculpture, physical movement, or structural architecture, among other forms of media appropriate to their vision.  

We will start by creating work together in a collective installation, and then move on to individual work. This class is for participants of all levels, though if you plan to use video or computational media it would be helpful to come in with some prior experience.  (20 hours/All Levels)


Mendal Diana Polish is a graduate of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental Documentary Arts program and is teaching a LGBTQ Cinemas class for Duke’s Arts in the Moving Image program. She has spent most of her adult life facilitating citizen journalism classes for groups involved in political struggles as well as digital literacy classes at the Prison Reentry Center in Philadelphia. Originally from San Francisco, Mendal began making movies in high school as a vehicle for activism and education, and has been creating media in many forms ever since. Last fall, she curated an audio installation, The Body and Queer Listening, which featured eleven sound artists and premiered at the Power Plant Gallery in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, she is a teaching artist and empire resister in Philadelphia. Mendal spent 2017–2018 teaching a variety of media classes at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and is happy to return to Durham.

Lisa Suzanne is a graduate of NCCU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She is a director, lighting designer, playwright, and puppeteer. Currently working as technical director of the new Black Box Theatre at Durham, North Carolina’s Walltown Children’s Theatre, she was previously resident lighting designer of the Women’s Theatre Festival. Lisa is a board member of the Bull City Black Theatre Festival and member of the development committee for Black Ops Theatre. She is working on Living in Transparency, an interactive art exhibit in a barn near Rougemont, North Carolina.

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Center for Documentary Studies
Room 001
Polish 3/9 - 5/11 Sa 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM $350.00 View

Poetry in 360

What would it be like to live in a poem? How would it look? What tone would it take? What visual and audio landscapes would help complement the experience? In this class, we’ll explore 360° video as an immersive medium that helps transport the user into another world, in this case, a world that you’ll be creating through video, ambient sound, and the audio narration of a poem. We’ll also explore the work of other creators who have used 360 to simulate experiences and put users in the shoes, stories and environments of others.

Required equipment: 360 camera such as the Samsung Gear 360. (16 hours/ All Levels)

Amy Claire Nelson is a Durham, North Carolina–based digital storyteller and filmmaker. Her work has been recognized by national and international film festivals as well as regional and national news associations including the Society of Professional Journalists, NC AP, RTNDA, AWMF, and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Broadcast News Awards. She is the 2017 recipient of the Beckman Documentary Award.

Additional Information

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Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Nelson 2/6 - 3/27 We 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM $300.00 View