Everything You Need to Know About the MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute
This upcoming summer, the John B. Moore documentary studies collaborative (MDOCS) will be sponsoring its annual session of the Storyteller’s Institute. This five-week program allows students and faculty to develop and create their own documentary projects in sound, film, photography, exhibition or any other medium that their stories require.
The program aims to help Skidmore and its students advance their documentary skills by telling stories that matter to Saratoga Springs and beyond. During the five weeks, the program brings in professional filmmakers, documentarians and other professionals in similar fields to help the students expand their projects. The students work alongside these professionals, learning techniques involved in creating a professional quality documentary.
The students participate in workshops and the Festosium, a weekend-long public celebration that holds a symposium and brings in all types of filmmakers and artists to showcase their work.
The director of the MDOCS program, Jordana Dym, described some of the work students have done in the past. “In the first two years, participants have interviewed Mexican migrants and Chinese-born business owners in Saratoga Springs, accompanied scientists doing research in the Adirondacks, interviewed twenty-somethings on transitioning into adulthood and animated the stories of those who tried hallucinogens.”
The theme for this summer’s institute is “Space and Place”. Those interested in applying do not need previous film experience, but it helps if they brainstorm topics and focuses that they can consider developing into a project.
Professor Dym noted, “One of the most impressive things to me is the passion and dedication of students (and just-graduated alumni) during the month of June. They go full in — learning from the pros, working all hours in LIB 113 (the MDOCS lab), chatting over meals, pushing boundaries, exploring, and taking risks.”
The students focus solely on one project throughout the duration of the five weeks and gain a ton of hands on , technical experience with the equipment and how the process works. Professor Dym stated, “With only one project to focus on, the engagement is deep. Advances in skill and understanding are off the charts.”
This program is a great way for students to tap into their creative abilities and take advantage of one of the many great opportunities that the MDOCS program offers right on our very own campus.
The program is working to build and connect an international network of Skidmore alumni and parents who are engaged in museum work, filmmaking, law, arts administration, sound storytelling and more.
**The program will take place from May 30th to June 30th. Applications for the program are due by December 16th, 2016. For more information please visit: www.skidmore.edu/mdocs