Do Now 4/18 – The Art of the Interview

Aim: How can we identify and utilize the different Interviewing techniques for our documentaries?

Do Now: Go To




Do Now 4/17


What is the purpose of a treatment?  

What are the different types of questions that are asked in interviews for documentary?

Do Now:

In your groups develop a plot pyramid with a brief description for each section of the Freytags Pyramid.

Do Now 4/16

Get In to your groups and answer the 5 question.

  • Why does this film need to be made?

  • What do you hope the audience will learn by watching your film?

  • What change in the world can be sparked by the making of this film?

  • What aim of documentarian will your documentary hit and why?

  • Who is your main characters in the film?


Do Now 4/15


  • How do we create a treatment for a documentary?   

Do Now:

  • What are 2 things that you can use from hoop dreams to develop your own documentary?

  • What is one thing that you would not do in your documentary? 

Learning Objectives (swbat)

  • Identify the difference between a treatment and a proposal.
  • Develop a treatment for documentary film

Hood Dreams Response Paper

  • This past week we have been watching Hoop Dreams a documentary by Steve James. As with everything we watch in this class you will be required to write  a response paper about hoop dreams due on Monday the 15th. I am looking to see that you have a higher level of analysis for documentary films. Hoop Dreams  deals with social issues and uses cinematic techniques to develop its story. Using the questions from the week and your notes on the movie you will write a 350 word response paper with an intro, body , and conclusion that uses specific examples from the film to support you point.

Sample topics

Social Issues brought up through out the film.

  • drug use
  • race
  • social economic class
  • Education

Analyzing the film technically

  • Use of Shots and Composition support story.
  • Music and its role in the film.
  • How did the use of voice over affect film?
  • Editors influence.

Then and Now

  • How is life of the teens portrayed different or similar to your life.

Questioning the Directors decision

  • What does the filmmaker want the audience to believe or do?
  • Analyze the message and draw conclusion
  • questions you would ask the director.
  • Analyzing the film according to the 3 aims of documentarians.

Hoop Dreams Continued

Do Now: (Discussion)

1. What are the goals of the main subjects in this film?

2. What are the different issues that the characters deals with on their journey to reaching their dreams

Class Work:

The questions below will guide students through their interpretation of Hoop Dreams . Students should answer all questions.

1. Identify the author of the document. The information may be provided in the credits or on the
Internet file page from which you downloaded the document. The author may be a person or a group.
In some instances, the author may be “unknown.”
• What is the author’s point of view?
• What bias or prejudice might this author have?

2. Identify the audience and the purpose for the document. The audience may be the general viewing
public, or it might be a more specific group, such as teenagers, parents, workers in a specific industry,
or men and women enlisted in the military. The purpose may be to inform, to entertain, to express an
opinion, or to persuade.
• When and where was the document created?
• Why was it created?

3. Identify the information presented in the document. Use your knowledge of the filmmaking process
to interpret the film.
• What do you see? What filmic codes are being used? Identify specific people, places, or objects the filmmaker shows.
• Which details help you to better understand the subject or the period in which the film was

4. Analyze the film language. Use your knowledge of film language, including composition, camera
angles and distances, lighting, editing, movement, and sound to evaluate the film’s message.
• What message does the film have?
• What does the filmmaker want the audience to believe or do?

5. Make conclusions about the document. Now that you have studied the document, make your
conclusions based on specific details in the film.
• What questions does the film answer and/or what questions does the film leave unanswered?
• What value do these moving images have as a source of historical or cultural information?


Class Work 4/5

Aim/Do Now:

1. Make a list of the visual and audio elements of a documentary film?

2. What is the relationship between editing and point of view in a documentary?

3. How does the style of the documentary affect the message and the film’s portrayal of “reality?”


Links :

“Hoop Dreams is a 1994 documentary film directed by Steve James, with Kartemquin Films. It follows the story of two African-American high school students inChicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players.

Originally intended to be a 30-minute short produced for the Public Broadcasting Service, it eventually led to five years of filming and 250 hours of footage. It premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. Despite its length (171 minutes) and unlikely commercial genre, it received high critical and popular acclaim. It ended its run in the box office with $11,830,611 worldwide.”


1. What is the filmmaker’s purpose?

2. What is the attitude or viewpoint of the filmmaker? Tone?

3. What cinematic techniques (Filmic Codes) does the filmmaker use to make his/her point?

4. What kind of documentary is it? Is it a combination of forms?

Do Now 4/4


How can we analyze documentaries for truth?

Do Now:

1. What are the 3 aims of a documentarian ?

2. Research a documentarian


What is their focus?

Previous work and awards?

Exit Slip:

 1. Who/what can be documented in your school or community that  can  fulfill the 3 aims that we learned today? Explain how your subject connects to each aim .

2. Create a tagline for the documentary about that subject.

Do Now 4/3

Aim: Why do directors want their audience to feel emotion?

Do Now: 

1. What emotions do films evoke? list 5

2. What techniques are used to build emotion?

3. Give one example of emotion in media and the way it is produced.

Go to and sign up

Access Codes

Period 3: 8V33Q-7XF6B

Period 5: N5Z8W-Q24FT

Period 6: PHZWZ-ZF5ZK

Voice Over Directed by Martin Rosete

Home Work:

Write a 1 page response on the voice over and submit to Schoology

—Any new ideas or insights that came to you while watching the film.
—Anything that proves to me you are learning and understanding what we are doing in this class.
—Anything that bothered you in the film, anything you didn’t entirely understand or wanted some more
explanation about.
—Any personal experiences you want to share that apply to the film we watched.
—Anything from this class (or even from other classes) that relates to or applies to the film.
—Questions you have.
—New things you have learned.

***ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS give specific examples from the film about what you are talking
about—at least one or two in evey response you give me.***
—Do not just write what I call “crit talk.” Don’t just say “that was cool,” or “that sucked,” or “the special
effects were good,” or “it was boring.” I want to know WHY you thought that way.
—Do not just give me plot summaries. I already know what happened in the movie.