Barcelona On Stage: Documentary Workshop

Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Barcelona On Stage: Documentary Workshop

  • Host University

    Universidad Pompeu Fabra

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

    45
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    Language of Instruction: English
    Course Contact Hours: 48
    Recommended Credit: 3 US credits-5 ECTS credits
    Course Prerequisites: None
    Language Requirements: None

    Course Description:

    Click here to watch a video of the UPF professor describing the course in their own words!


    The goal of this seminar is to provide the student with a basic, but professional, level of knowledge of documentary film making. Special attention will be given to the successful renewal of the Spanish -and in special cases, the Catalan- film scene in the last 15 years. The seminar includes a practical exercise where the student can discover his particular way of seeing Spanish reality. The seminar consists in theoretical and practical lessons. During six weeks (three days per week; each class meeting for three hours) students and the tutor Ricardo Iscar will meet and discuss ideas and the situation of the contemporary documentaries.

    Learning Objectives:
    At the end of this course the students:
    - Will be have a general theoretical knowledge of the history and styles of the Documentary
    - Will learn how to write a script and a Documentary project
    - Will participate in the shooting and editing of a short documentary movie.

    Course Workload:
    Students will work in small teams of four people to develop a project suitable to be filmed and presented at the end of the course. At the beginning of the seminar, students will present a project idea to be approved by the professor. Films should be no more than 15 minutes long and will be shot Barcelona by each group.

    Methods of Instruction:
    The seminar consists of lecture and practical lessons. During lecture classes the professor will present the history of Spanish and Catalan Documentary and will set the theoretical basis for the production of a Documentary. During practical sessions students will exercise this production, from the conception of the idea to the editing of the film; this process, of course, includes the writing of the script and shooting of the film.

    Method of Assessment:
    Student's final grade will be determined as it follows:
    Class participation: 25%
    Project synopsis: 25%
    Final Documentary Project: 50%

     

    AAbsence Policy:
    Attending class is mandatory and will be monitored daily by professors. The impact of absences on the final grade is as follows:
    Up to two (2) absences - No penalization
    Three (3) absences - 1 point subtracted from final grade (on a 10 point scale)
    Four (4) absences - 2 points subtracted from final grade (on a 10 point scale)
    Five (5) absences or more - The student receives and INCOMPLETE for the course

    The UPF Summer School attendance policy does not disntinguish between justified or unjustified absences. The student is deemd responsible to manage his/her absences. Emergency situations (hospitalization, family emergency, etc.) will be analyzed on a case by case basis by the Academic Director of the UPF Summer School

    Classroom Norms:
    - No food or drink is permitted in the classrooms
    - Students will have a ten-minute break during each hour session
    - Students will have access to UPF professional facilities and technical equipments necessary to develop the course and its assignments. The students are responsible for the appropriate use of materials borrowed from the UPF, including lamps, microphones, professional cameras and other materials.
    Students are also responsible for the correct use of the studios and facilities, etc. Students enrolled in this course will assume the responsibilities that the UPF audiovisual material loan implies, including eventual student's dismissal from the program in the case of inappropriate use of facilities and/or materials.

     

    Course Contents; (please note that, given the hands on approach of this course, day and time meetings for class sessions may vary each week. Theory sessions will last 3 hours and practical sessions will last 4 hours)

    Week 1 HISTORY AND STYLES OF DOCUMENTARY
    Session 1 Introduction
    A brief history; Robert Flaherty and "Nanook of the North".
    Discussion of the reality versus fiction, taking special care of the manipulation and the limits of reality in the films.
    The importance of how to look at reality and rediscover the world Observational filmmaking.

    Session 2 Frames and Influences
    The influence of Flaherty in Spanish contemporary filmmakers like Jose Luis Guerin, Mercedes Alvarez, and Ricardo Iscar.
    Exposition of the diferent ideas of the course participants.Public discussion.

    Session 3 The Cinema with Social Concern
    The British Documentary Movement (John Grierson, Cavalcanti,Wright...)
    Filming the work.

    Week 2 HISTORY AND STYLES OF DOCUMENTARY. PRESENTATION OF SYNOPSIS
    Session 4 To Write a Documentary Script
    To write a Documentary Script: from the first idea to the Script.
    Synopsis and Treatment.
    Written examples and films.

    Session 5 Filming the Real
    Filmingthe real (cinema du reel- cine de lo real).
    DzigaVertov and the Kino Pravda.
    The beginnings of cinemaverite with Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin (1960).
    CinemaVerite from Passsolini until today.
    Main Features.

    Session 6 The Camera as a Witness
    The camera as a witness; The Direct Cinema in USA.
    The films from Pennebacker, Leacock, Drew and Frederick Wiseman.
    Differences between other styles.
    Presentation of Sinopsis.

    Week 3 SCRIPT AND GETTING READY FOR SHOOTING
    Session 7 Looking back in Spain
    Looking backl5 years in Spain; how the production of new documentaries started up in Catalunya.
    First Steps; the Importance of Transmission and Education.
    Contemporary Spanish Documentaries.

    Session 8 Students' Projects
    Selection of students' projects.
    Each group (4/5 members) should rehearse the project, write and present the script, and discuss it with the reminder of the class.

    Week 4 SHOOTING
    Session 9 Shooting
    Shooting of the different students' projects. Each group will have a digital camera and sound equipment to shoot their projects around Barcelona.
    Professor will host tutorials with each group to accompany their shooting.
    * Please, note that students are expected to shoot the films outside of class meeting hours and will have access to audiovisual materials all throughout the week.

    Session 10 Shooting
    Shooting of the different students' projects. Each group will have a digital camera and
    sound equipment to shoot their projects around Barcelona.
    Professor will host tutorials with each group to accompany their shooting.
    * Please, note that students are expected to shoot outside of class meeting hours and will
    have access to audiovisual materials all throughout the week.

    Session 11 SHOOTiNG
    Shooting of the different students' projects. Each group will have a digital camera and sound equipment to shoot their projects around Barcelona.
    Professor will host tutorials with each group to accompany their shooting.
    * Please, note that students are expected to shoot outside of class meeting hours and will have access to audiovisual materials all throughout the week.

    Week 5 EDITING (Classes will be meeting in editing rooms)
    Session 12 Editing
    Editing of the material supervised by the tutor.
    Each group will reserve a digital editing room to edit the documentary all throughout the week.
    The final project should have a maximal length of 15 minutes.
    * Please, note that this class session will last 4 hours and will be meeting in the Editing Rooms).

    Session 13 Final Editing
    Editing of the material with supervision by the tutor.
    * Please, note that this class session will last 4 hours and will be meeting in the Editing Rooms).

    Session 14 Final EDiTiNG
    Editing of the material with supervision by the tutor.
    * Please, note that this class session will last 4 hours and will be meeting in the Editing Rooms).

    Week 6 EDITING AND FILM VIEWINGS (Classes will be meeting in editing rooms)
    Session 15 Final Editing
    Final Editing of the material with supervision by the tutor.
    * Please, note that this class session will last 4 hours and will be meeting in the Editing Rooms).

    Session 16 Final Project Viewings
    Film viewings
    Projection and analysis of the different projects.
    Final conclusions and course closure

    Required Readings:
    Barnow, Eric: "El documental. Historia y Estilo" Gedisa. Barcelona,2002.
    Barnow, Eric: "Documentary: A History of the Non Fiction Film". New York. Oxford University Press. 1974
    Macdonald,Kevin y Cousins, Mark (Eds): "Imagining Reality: The Faber book of Documentary". Faber & Faber. Londres.1996
    Nichols, Bill: "La Representacion de la realidad. Cuestiones y conceptos sobre el documental", Paidos, Barcelona, 1997
    Nichols, Hill: "Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary" Indiana University Press. 1991
    Barbash, llisa and Taylor, Lucien: "Cross- Cultural Filmmaking. A handbook for making ethnographic films and videos".University of California Press. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London. 1997
    Barsam, Richard: "Nonficfion Film: A Critical History". New York. Dutton. 1973
    Barsam, Richard: "The vision of Robert Flaherty". Indiana University Press. 1988
    Vertov, Dziga: "Memorias de un cineasta bolchevique". Las ediciones liberales.
    Editorial labor s.a. Barcelona. 1974
    Barthes, Roland: "La camara lucida", Paidos. Barcelon. 1990
    Sontag, Susan: "Sobre la fotograffa",Edhasa. Barcelona. 1989
    Cerdan, Josetxo, y Torreiro Casimiro (Eds): "Imogen, Memoria y Fascinacion. Notas sobre el documental en Espana". Ocho y Medio. Madrid.)

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.