Visualizing Allen Island

In early September, I took students from my course CI245: Documentary Production out to Allen Island for a chance to develop their shooting skills. I asked students to tell a visual narrative about the island in 2-3 minutes. Students researched the island ahead of time, watched videos about the island, and read several articles about how the Wyeth’s acquired and shaped the island.

Our ride out there was pretty bumpy and wet. The students refused to sit in the cabin and much preferred getting soaked on the back of the boat. Jim kept some of us mostly dry though. The first night on the island was a bit drizzly and cold, but students immediately started shooting. There wasn’t much of a sunset to speak of, but we did get some time to explore.

The next morning about half the class woke up early to catch the sunrise – it was a good one, but it also included a tiny rain shower. Students spent all of Saturday shooting and exploring the island. Watch some of the videos below and read some of the students’ comments to see the results of their trip.

“I loved our trip to Allen Island. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know my classmates in a more intimate setting (kind of like an abbreviated COOT). The island itself was beautiful, especially when the weather cooperated and the sun came out. I loved that our entire group was invested in taking in the beauty of the island (it helped that part of our assignment was to capture the island’s beauty). Having access to spaces like Allen Island really makes me feel like I’m getting a lot out of my college experience. My horizons are broadened to beyond just the classroom, and I’m excited for more opportunities like this in the future.” – Nick Ho

“I had a great experience on Allen Island. It was a beautiful location to practice my camera and filming skills for the first time. The island is a very unique place and having access this location allowed me to experience an aspect of Maine that I otherwise would not they access too. Although I do not think this was an authentic Maine experience, as the island was manicured, and access is limited, it was still an interesting look at the coast of Maine. The size of the island and the structure of our trip allowed for each individual to discover different aspects of the island.” – Caroline Wren

“Filming a documentary was an incredibly unique experience.  Firstly, it was wonderful to experience the island. I have never been on an island in Maine so I am grateful to have been able to spend the night in such a beautiful setting.  Also, the island provided a wonderful virtual canvass to film for my documentary. ” – Drew Williamson