Documentary Production – Visual Narratives

On the weekend of September 23rd, I took my CI245: Documentary Production course out to Allen Island. I asked the students ahead of time to research the island and to map out an outline for a visual narrative. They had to tell a story about the island in three minutes or less and it had to have a coherent narrative structure without relying on dialogue. Students could use music or voiceover. The students filmed from the moment we arrived in Port Clyde up until we boarded the boat to return.

   “Coming in with the goal of producing a film about the relationship between humans and nature, the built environment and what is natural, I was able to explore Allen Island throughout the day making use of the golf carts and Colby camera equipment.” – Danya Smith.

“Having this field trip early on in the semester was a great way to bond with classmates and gain first-hand experience with the challenges of documentary filmmaking. By essentially “throwing us in the deep end,” I was able to quickly develop a good idea of the entire filmmaking process, and learn what adjustments I would make to overcome certain obstacles in the future.” – Annie Lee

“My favorite part of the trip was when my group stumbled upon a sheep, which was stuck in a hole filled with water, and we had the chance to save it. We found the island’s caretaker and brought him to the hole where he was able to safely dislodge the sheep” – Max Manos.

“In addition to being my first class trip, it was my first time on an island in Maine; as I am a senior and likely will be living outside of Maine in the future, I’m really glad I got to stay on a beautiful island here. Allen Island embodies the natural beauty of the Maine coast in a private, preserved setting that was perfect for shooting landscape shots of the island”- Stephan Chaikovsky

“Overall, I had a great time working together with my fellow classmates to have a calm and productive two days on Allen Island. I really hope I get the chance to go back and find that sheep herd. ” – Jenna DeFrancisco


“As students, we created our own structure, with simple chores to do chosen by each person split equally among everyone (sweeping, dishes, cooking, etc.) This freedom gave us opportunity to essentially roam the island freely and do what we needed to get our projects done, as long as we stuck with a buddy.” Dylan Shaw

“I found myself enjoying the serenity, lost in the texture of a single fern, mesmerized by the waves.” Abby Snyder