This semester, we’re working with Ivy Creek School to create a documentary about their theatre class play. The play tells the story of a Sugar Queen, a factory of confection, and her loyal team of a butler and fearless Jedi. Battling her for the throne is an evil ninja (Ninja Cocoa) and Dr. Reese’s, a mad scientist who instead of concocting new candy for the queen is growing vegetables, venomous to the Queen and her kingdom.
Did you know there’s more than one “mode” of documentary out there? There’s actually 6! The filmmakers had to first decide what kind of documentary they wanted to create about the play. They were given options like narration or poetic, and they eventually landed on the classic mode – participatory. A participatory documentary involves interviewing and gathering footage to explain what’s going on.
The filmmakers learned how to interview – coming up with questions for the interviewees, framing the shot, making a visually interesting background, keeping the interviewee comfortable, and asking good follow-up questions. The filmmakers interviewed actors to learn more about the process of writing a script, directing a scene and getting into character. Mr. Ham, the teacher and director of the play, comments that they’ve been working on finishing their script and finding a way to work together to complete it on time. One of the trickiest parts at this point, he says, is deciding when to add lines and when to call it a wrap. The characters are so goofy and interesting, that everyone wants to add more dialogue to their parts! Especially when there are so many perfectly sweet sugary puns to think up.
The students have been learning the technical skills of operating the camera, microphone and tripod and by the 3rd week were prepared with interview questions ahead of time and immediately starting setting up the shot! They’ve learned how to capture wide, establishing shots, as well as close-up detailed ones to keep the footage interesting.
Stay tuned for the finished documentary and the revealing conclusion…who will win the World of Confection??