Phyllis and Stan teach Documentary Filmmaking at Antioch University, Santa Barbara. Each student produces a short-film that ‘aims for the heart’ about a social justice issue The student films tell character driven stories about social injustice and its often-devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. Students strive to create films that raise awareness and seek political, economic or social change through informing and mobilizing others.
When students start the class, most have had little or no background in filmmaking skills. Students have 9 weeks to conceive the idea for their film, compose a descriptive outline, ‘pitch’ it to the class, find suitable subjects and locations, obtain proper releases, write a comprehensive script (pre-shoot), solve the sound and light issues, edit, find royalty/license free music or create their own and upload their film to a designated website.
Phyllis and I are in awe of the quality of the films that students produced. In the 2014 class, the subject was Extreme Local Poverty. Here are just a few of that our students produced.