Crash Course in Counter Cinema

by Joshua Samson

UT

The Crash Course in Counter Cinema will be a unique film experience where a small group of often marginilized students (refugees, immigrants, LGBTQI+, etc.) will get the opportunity to learn the basics of film production and create a short piece of counter cinema that allows for more diversity in storytelling. Counter Cinema helps to create an outlet for new ideas, different perspectives, and fights stereotypes and representations ever-present in the media and this project aims to facilitate the creation of pieces of counter cinema by members of an often marginalized or misrepresented group. The entire process will be filmed in order to create a companion short documentary about the process, complete with student reflections.

Week 1, we will break down many of the stereotypical characters, social elements, and messages students are tired of seeing and will craft a script in their own voice as a reaction to these stereotypes.

Week 2, we will examine camera and composition, lighting, and location sound. We will break our original script down and will create our shot list and shooting schedule.

Week 3 is all production where each student takes a turn as director, producer, camera, and sound as we film our scenes. This is the week where we bring in experienced young filmmakers to aid in making sure we get everything we need for the final edit.

Week 4 we will edit our scenes together, build soundtracks, and export as well as do reflective interviews about how the film is countercinema and student reflections on the process.

We will send pieces out to festivals and seek out community screening opportunities upon their completion.

We are raising the minimum funds for one round of this project, with a single small group of students (6-10). Funding will cover the teaching artist, the documentary videographer, assistance from exprienced young filmmakers during production, post-production costs, and arranging of screenings. $2500 is not much for all of that. The more we raise, the more projects we can do! This is our attempt to get the ball rolling on this and once we have a few projects under our belts we can expand and seek future funding for more projects like this.