Allen Island and Lobster Documentaries

A documentary comes to life in the editing room. In this course the students engage with various forms of documentary storytelling from an editor’s perspective. In addition to watching documentary films, students produced and edited three documentary video projects. While attention was paid to developing ideas and production, the class focused most heavily on the editing phase of production. Time was given to refine, recut and reedit. Students learned the art of process, of revision and reimagining, as well as learning valuable technical skills such as using a camera, shooting a scene, and interviewing techniques.

Students edited shorts about Mark Wallace, a lobsterman, and his sternman, Gardner Dryer. For this assignment students were given the same footage shot by Erin Murphy and Palmer Taylor. They had to figure out their editing style and how they wanted to tell a story about lobstering off the coast from Friendship, Maine.

For their second assignment, students spent 24 hours on Allen Island, a small, private island halfway to Monhegan. Students were asked to shoot a visual narrative about the island. Students chose to focus on stories about the sheep, about the built environment, about the rocks, and about each other.