Special Topics / General Interest



Decolonizing Documentary: Race, Gender, Power


How can we disrupt colonial modes of documentary storytelling? How can we challenge extractive storytelling practices, notions of the “other,” and white-savior narratives? Can we center anti-racist and anti-oppression methods in the process of creating our work, not just the product? In this course, we will study documentary projects and discuss actionable strategies for decolonizing documentary. (16 hours/All Levels)

Spring 2019 class schedule! 
05/03/2019 | Friday 7-9pm

05/04/2019 | Saturday 10-5

05/05/2019 | Sunday 10-5


Ligaiya Romero
(they.them.theirs.siyá) is a documentary filmmaker and visual artist working with collective memory and the decolonial imagination. Based in both Durham, NC and Brooklyn, NY, they are currently working on a documentary film about Asian Pacific American activism in the South. Ligaiya is the Video Producer & Editor for The Argus Project, a transmedia documentary on police violence and citizen counter-surveillance. The project was supported by Tribeca New Media Fund and presented at Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes in 2016. Ligaiya was a fellow at Firelight Media's Documentary Story Lab and a member of the Queer Producers Collective. Most recently, they were a Visiting Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism, teaching documentary film and photography.

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ST236SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Romero 5/3 - 5/5 Fr Sa Su 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM $300.00 View

Documentary and the Three-Act Structure Workshop (Onsite and Online)
At heart, documentarians are storytellers. Telling stories that people want to watch means engaging audiences in your narrative, which requires an understanding of their needs and desires and of the tools developed over time to answer those needs. This class is designed to provide those tools. In this class, students will view and learn to dissect narrative films for the elements of traditional three-act structure, the most common storytelling format in the industry, and then apply those lessons to their own work. By understanding how and why this structure creates memorable and tightly paced Hollywood films, students will be able to apply it to their own nonfiction work. In melding the sensibilities and conventions of documentaries with an easily identifiable narrative structure, students will not only identify ways to adapt their subject matter to the appetite of a story-hungry contemporary documentary audience but also learn how to deliver commercially viable documentary films for today’s selective environment. (5 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This is a hybrid on-site/online class. Distance students will participate via teleconference.

Josh Dasal has taught at CDS since 2010. He is an Emmy- and Silver Telly–winning director, producer, screenwriter, and video marketer. A master’s graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, he has created projects and/or consulted for Discovery Channel, PBS, Sony Screen Gems, and director Wes Craven. He has taught filmmaking courses at UNC-Chapel Hill and Missouri State University, and his films have screened at venues like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Director’s Guild of America, and USC’s First Look Film Festival. He is the owner and chief creative officer of Kaboonki Creative, a video production and marketing firm based in Raleigh.

Additional information:
To participate from off-site, a late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully.

There will be a one-hour break for lunch.


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VI152SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Dasal 3/23 - 3/23 Sa 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM $160.00 View

Documentary Development and Fundraising (Online)

One of the most vexing aspects of the documentary film development process is the creation of a compelling treatment that funders will find intriguing. An effective treatment will also provide the filmmaker with an invaluable road map that will guide them during production and post. In this course, students will work with the instructor and their fellow students to develop and refine their documentary ideas, develop a fundraising strategy, and write a comprehensive grant proposal that they can use to apply to the sources of funding identified in their fundraising strategy. (16 hours/All Levels)

 

Jonathan Skurnik is a documentary producer, director, and cinematographer who has worked in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South and North America. His films have broadcast on European and American television, including PBS, and have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Lincoln Center, and at over two hundred film festivals around the world. Film awards include Best Documentary at the American Indian film festival, the Change Maker Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, the Audience Award for Outstanding Achievement at Outfest, the Harry Chapin Media Award for films about poverty, and Best Documentary Award at the UrbanTV Film Festival.

Jonathan is chair of the steering committee of New Day Films, the only cooperatively run educational film distribution company in the U.S., and founder of the Workfare Media Initiative, the Youth and Gender Media Project, and the Cante Sica Foundation, audience outreach and engagement projects that provide educational experiences through facilitated screenings, discussions, and immersive digital resources. He leads workshops and master classes in theory and production for filmmakers in the U.S and China, and teaches at Chapman University and the New York Film Academy.




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ST236oSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Skurnik 4/25 - 6/13 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Independent Study
This permission-only course is designed for students to work with a mentor on one specific project, in any medium, in four two-hour sessions (or a mutually agreed-upon equivalent) over the course of four months. Dates and times arranged by the student and mentor. (Intermediate-Advanced/8 hours)

Please contact [email protected] to request permission for an independent study.

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Full
ST300FA18
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Auditorium
Keith TBD TBD TBD $500.00 View

Intensive Introduction to Documentary Studies: Ethics and Practice


This intensive, weeklong class is designed for distance students who are pursuing the Certificate in Documentary Arts and fulfills their introductory course requirement, but it is also ideal for any student wishing to get a grasp of the basic history and principles of documentary work. This course will feature a variety of guest speakers, including photographers, filmmakers, writers, and audio producers. We emphasize not only methodologies but also philosophies and ethics of fieldwork in different settings. Students will explore examples of fieldwork and at the final meeting will present project proposals of their own. These proposals may be the beginning of long-term documentary initiatives or simply a means to help decide on the direction of a future project. (38 hours)

Michelle Lanier is the newly appointed director of the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites and Properties. She was formerly the acting director of North Carolina’s African American Heritage Commission and Curator of Multicultural Initiatives with North Carolina’s State Historic Sites. She has been an instructor at CDS since 2000. She uses her background as an oral historian and folklorist to connect communities around personal narratives and cultural expression. She has traveled to Panama and Ghana to document African Diaspora funerary traditions, and her ethnographic work in a South Carolina Gullah community led to her role as a liaison to the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. Growing up in a family that includes veterans of five American wars has inspired her current work, training students to collect veterans’ narratives.

Joy Salyers is a folklorist and a professional adviser on ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work. Salyers is also a writer, performer, and lecturer. She serves on advisory groups for several current documentary projects, and has taught in CDS’s Continuing Education program for more than a decade. See www.joysalyers.com.

Additional information:
The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night. Students are responsible for all other meals, housing, and transportation.

Section A
Taught by Michelle Lanier
Sunday, June 9: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, June 9–13: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, June 14: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Section B
Taught by Joy Salyers
Sunday, August 4: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, August 5–8: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday, August 9: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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ST515SU19A
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Lanier 6/9 - 6/14 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM $525.00 View
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ST515SU19B
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Lanier 8/4 - 8/9 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM $525.00 View

Intersectional Storytelling with a Queer Lens (Online)

 In this course, we will use Queer Cinemas as a container to create work that revolves around the intersectional experiences of marginalization, liberation, and resistance. Students will make short films motivated by themes of self and collective identity. Prior experience working with video is helpful.  (16 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.



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Cancelled
ST237oSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Polish 3/11 - 4/29 Mo 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Interviewing for Story (Online)


Interviews form the basis of most documentary projects, providing the raw material for written pieces, audio stories, and documentary films. What creators are able to unearth during interviews often has a profound effect on what they're able to produce in the end; the more fruitful the dialogue, the richer the finished product. In this course, students will learn the interviewer's skills: How to prepare for an interview, build rapport with subjects, formulate questions that elicit interesting or thoughtful responses, and effectively structure their conversations. In addition, they will learn the more technical aspects of the craft: how to work with recording tools, transcribe and edit, and otherwise make use of the content they glean.

Listening to and reading edited interviews, as well as pieces that make use of them, students will examine various interviewing techniques and approaches. They will practice interviewing on their own and explore different ways of bringing the material they gather to life through written exercises. On the class blog and during regular videoconferencing sessions, they will engage with their classmates and instructor, discussing the practical, ethical, and compositional aspects of gathering and working with other people's stories. By the end, students will develop—and receive peer and instructor feedback on—a written profile or an audio, video, or captioned-photo project that incorporates the interviews they've conducted. They will walk away with the skills and understanding to interview with confidence—and the potential to tell deeper, more compelling stories. (12 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

Christina Cooke is associate editor at the daily food-policy website Civil Eats and a Durham-based freelance writer. Her stories about people, place, and culture appear in venues including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Our State, and High Country News. Previously, she worked two years as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and another year as the only full-time reporter for a weekly paper in Portland, Oregon. Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed, and masters of their own, very specialized domains. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University and is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. Find out more at christinacooke.com.

Additional information:
A late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully.

There will be no class on March 28.

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WR192SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Cooke 2/21 - 4/4 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Introductory Seminar in Documentary Studies: Ethics and Practice


This course is designed for students in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program or those who plan to enroll. The documentary arts—including photography, video, audio, and writing—encompass many genres and numerous means of interacting with the world and its people. Instruction will focus on methodologies as well as philosophies and ethics of fieldwork in different settings. Students will explore examples of documentary work and will present project ideas of their own in the final session. (20 hours/All Levels)

Joy Salyers
is a folklorist and a professional adviser on ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work. Salyers is also a writer, performer, and lecturer. She serves on advisory groups for several current documentary projects, and has taught in CDS’s Continuing Education program for more than a decade. See joysalyers.com.

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ST101PSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Salyers 4/11 - 5/30 Th 06:15 PM - 08:45 PM $290.00 View

Introductory Seminar in Documentary Studies: Traditions (Online)


This course is designed for students in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program or those who plan to enroll; it’s also suited to non-certificate students with a general interest in interdisciplinary traditions of documentary work, with an emphasis on twentieth-century practice. Students will be introduced to a range of documentary idioms and voices, including the work of photographers, filmmakers, oral historians, folklorists, musicologists, radio documentarians, and writers. (16 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

Joy Salyers is a folklorist and a professional adviser on ethical and effective practice for individuals, organizations, and projects. She helps clients place an honest and compassionate assessment of themselves into the context of the systems within which they work. Salyers is also a writer, performer, and lecturer. She serves on advisory groups for several current documentary projects, and has taught in CDS’s Continuing Education program for more than a decade. See joysalyers.com.

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ST101ToSP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Salyers 2/7 - 3/28 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $328.00 View

Writing the Documentary Script (Onsite and Online)
Your documentary films can be scripted! A well-written script can be key to structuring your film. Structure can make not only the difference between a bad film and a good film, but between a good film and a great one. To create a documentary that’s coherent in post-production, your pre-production needs to be equally coherent. One of the best ways to organize one’s research, explore new ideas, and more accurately plan for the unexpected is to write a documentary script. In this one-day workshop, students will learn the basics of writing the documentary script, including the conceptual and practical theory behind script construction, the role of story in documentary filmmaking, and proper A/V script formatting. We’ll learn the best ways to outline scenes and analyze existing A/V scripts for production and post-production needs. And we’ll use widely available script writing software which you will then use in practical exercises that demonstrate how to translate your written documentaries from script to screen. Added value may be gained by pairing this course with Documentary and Three-Act Structure. (5 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This is a hybrid onsite/online class. Distance students will participate via teleconference.

Joshua Dasal has taught at CDS since 2010. He is an Emmy- and Silver Telly–winning director, producer, screenwriter, and video marketer. A master’s graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, he has created projects and/or consulted for Discovery Channel, PBS, Sony Screen Gems, and director Wes Craven. He has taught filmmaking courses at UNC-Chapel Hill and Missouri State University, and his films have screened at venues like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Director’s Guild of America, and USC’s First Look Film Festival. He is the owner and chief creative officer of Kaboonki Creative, a video production and marketing firm based in Raleigh.

Additional information:
To participate from off-site, a late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully.

There will be a one-hour break for lunch.

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VI146SP19
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Dasal 5/11 - 5/11 Sa 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM $160.00 View