War Dance Response (Due Wednesday)

This passed week we have been watching and analyzing War Dance in class. Today you will use your assignments from the film to build your outline for your response paper due on Wednesday the 22nd. (500 Words – Times New Roman, Size 12, Double Spaced)

Do Now: 

1. What are some of the specific techniques that the director and editor use to add dimensions to the film?

2. What techniques from the movie do you think can be mimicked in your documentaries that you are producing in class and how would it impact your film?


Work with a partner to discuss and answer 5 of the 6 questions below:

1. What new ideas or insights came to you while watching the film?
2. How can you prove to your teacher that you are learning and understanding what we are doing in this class from this film?
3. What bothered you in the film, Was there anything you didn’t entirely understand or wanted some more explanation about?
4. Do you have any personal experiences you want to share that apply to the film we watched.
5. What questions do you have for the cast or director?
6. What new things have you learned while watching the film .


Your response papers must have an intro, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use your plot pyramid/concept map, questions from assignment #2 and questions from today to develop an outline for your paper.




  • Opening sentence
  • 3 main points that you will develop through out paper
  • transition

Body Paragraphs

  • Restate main points
  • Supporting details and examples
  • Supporting details and examples

Conclusion and closing summary

  • Restate 3 main points
  • Final statement

War Dance

Since 1985, the children of the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda have been victimized both by civil war and by a rebel force, the Lord’s Resistance Army. Millions have been displaced into camps where life is harsh. But when one camp’s primary school won the right to compete in Uganda’s national music and dance festival, its children dared to dream again. Nominated for an Academy Award, WAR DANCE follows three of these children – Dominic, Rose and Nancy – as they faced their past and imagined their future. 

War Dance Movie Poster


2. War Dance 

Assignment #1 : Narrative/Concept Map (100 Points)

While watching War Dance you will be challenged to create a plot pyramid/concept map  drawing out the storyline of the film and connecting it to the different filmic codes for each section explaining how they influence the narrative.

By the end of the film students should be able to look at their sheets and notice the progression of the storyline and how it was influenced by the filmic codes .


Plot Section (Exposition,Climax, Ect… Explain what is happening during this section.)

Filmic Code (What filmic code did the director use during this section? Be specific)

Effect (How did this filmic code affect the story line?)

Assignment #2: War Dance Questions  (50 Points)

1. What human rights issues are illustrated in the film?

2. What is the role of music in this film?

3. Throughout the film, the directors contrast the individual interviews with footage of rehearsal shows. What is the purpose of these contrasts? Is it effective? Why or why not?

4.Choose a scene that you thought was impactful, memorable, and/or emotional. Describe the scene in detail and explain why u chose that scene.

5. Did you like this film? Why or why not.

Do Now 5/7

Today we will be discussing the work flow for the production phase of our documentary projects. You will relearn effective ways to shoot your documentaries and all paper work you will need for your shoot.

Do Now:Watch Video below in class and make a list of 3 new things you learned from video and 3 things that you learned in class that was re introduced. 


Do Now: 5/2

Yesterday we ended class with the question “ Does the presence of a film or video camera make people act any differently than they normally would? Why or why not?”  your answer to this question is the difference between cinema verite and observational cinema. Today you will be learning about the difference between the two and how to identify and recreate in your own documentaries.

Do Now:

1.How does the form of the documentary affect the content and show the tone or attitude the documentarian takes toward their subject?

2. How does the mode of narration affect the narrative?

3.What mode of documentary will you be using in your film and why?


Read about Cinema Verte and Observational Cinema and explain the two in your own words.

Create a venn diagram showing the 3 main similarities & differences including examples for both.

Cinema Verte and Observational Cinema


Students will watch “Always A Fire” and write a quick response (6-8 sentences) about the film referencing what we learned in class about the four modes of documentary. In addition students may also touch on other topics learned in class such as filmic codes and narrative.

Do Now/ Classwork: 5/1

Do Now: Today we will be watching multiple film clips to identify the differences in narrations between fictional and non fictional films.

  1. What is the function of the “narrator” in film and literature?
  2. What does the narrator do?
  3. What is the difference between a narration told in 1st person and one told in 3rd person?

Personal Voice vs Expository Mode

Class Work:

With a partner, brainstorm three possible reasons why someone would answer “yes” to this question and three possible reasons why someone would answer “no.”

1. Does the presence of a film or video camera make people act any differently than they normally would? Why or why not?

Do Now Quiz 4/26

Do Now Quiz: Answer all questions below silently and individually. Submit to schoology.com

(2-4 sentences response for each)

1. Give me three steps used to conduct an effective interview?

2. Besides Music, what are two ways a documentarian can evoke emotion. Give an specific example from a film for each?

3. Give me an example where a director would use music as either parallel, contrapuntal, or associative. Come up with a scenario or give me a specific example from a film? 

4. What are 2 of the 3 aims of a documentarian?

5. What are 3 common mistakes of an amateur director?

Do Now 4/24


How can we identify and demonstrate the pre-production steps for a documentary Films?

Do Now:

1.Watch short documentary in class and identify all of the techniques that the director uses throughout the film to develop the story and make a list?

2.What is the director of this documentary trying to portray to its viewers?

3.Besides Interviews, what techniques are you going to use in your documentary to develop your story?

Class Work:

Develop Your Target Audience page by answering the questions below.

Who is your target audience?

Why is this your target audience ?

How will this film benefit them?

What do you expect your audience to learn?

How will they learn it?


Documentary Pre-Production: 4/22

Aim: How can we identify and demonstrate the pre-production steps for a documentary Films?

Do Now: What are the steps of pre production?

Split your production groups in half. Read articles below about the production process of documentary filmmaking. Today you will be creating a budget and schedule for your project.

Budgeting:  http://www.documentary.org/magazine/dont-fudge-your-budget-toeing-line-items

Scheduling: http://preproduction.4filmmaking.com/schedule.html



Students should be able to:

  • Identify the steps in pre production.

  • Understand the purpose of these steps.

  • Develop production schedule and budget.


Aim:  How can we organize all the work we did this week to create an official treatment?

Do Now: students will go to kickstarter.com and see the platform that they will be placing their treatments on.


Documentary Treatment Outline




Goals/Purpose of Film:

Film Outline:

(students will use questions from “do now 4/16” create the outline for your film)


(students will use their plot pyramid to  explain the storyline of the film and excite viewers about the plot without giving away the whole film)

Field Trip to Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, April 25th. Tell Your Parents!

First 20 Students to bring in your permission slips can go. Ask your parents from now!



Inside Out: The People’s Art Project

This fascinating documentary tracks the evolution of the biggest participatory art project in the world, the wildly popular ‘INSIDE OUT’. Travel the globe with French artist JR as he motivates entire communities to define their most important causes with incredibly passionate displays of giant black and white portraits pasted in the street. We witness young and old taking ownership of walls that were previously restricted and in doing so testing the limits of what they thought was possible.