Stories of the Susquehanna is a long-term digital scholarship project that presents stories of our region focused on and around the Susquehanna River.
Course: Stories of the Susquehanna Valley is a combination of ENLS 314 Digital Storytelling and ENLS 319 Independent Study.
Instructor: Associate Professor of English Alfred Siewers
Semester(s): Utopian Dreams, Summer 2014 -Spring 2016
Duration of Assignment: Entire Series, Summer 2014-Present
Technology: Canon Vixia HF G20 x 2, Lightpanels Duo Lit x 2, Audio-Technica Lav Mics
Class Blog: http://ssvdoc.blogs.bucknell.edu/
- Analyzing visual/digital frameworks for storytelling
- Producing and editing documentaries
- Interviewing and researching for video
- Screenwriting for video
- Project management for video
- Ability to discern how online video documentaries/digital stories they view or consume are crafted realities despite how they may appear to be “unfiltered”
John LaLoggia ‘18 and Laura Lujan ‘17 took the lead in producing Utopian Dreams, and several other students had roles in the production process, which lasted nearly two years. LaLoggia, whose involvement in the project came about through his role as a Presidential Fellow, began his work on the video the summer before officially matriculating to Bucknell.
“I had always been interested in film, and the opportunity to produce one that might get shown on public television was an opportunity that just jumped out at me,” said LaLoggia, an interdepartmental — political science major. “It was actually a big reason that I came to Bucknell, being able to be involved with something like this before I even got to campus. It has been a very unique experience that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else.”
Lujan said the project has influenced her career goals.
“When I first came to Bucknell I wanted to become an occupational therapist, but after working on this project, I am now hoping to go into the entertainment industry in some way or perhaps journalism so that I can continue to meet and talk to passionate people,” she said. “Perhaps I may even teach so that I can help encourage students to think about technology creatively in fields and spaces where it it is normally not thought about. My future has definitely been influenced through working on this project and I have discovered new strengths and passions.”
This document is a 3 week pre-production/production plan designed to introduce students to the documentary film process. We began with simple exercises using the students smartphones. Students would take photos and as a group, we would discuss the framing and significance of the shot. Next, we would introduce video equipment. We watched films such as Baraka and Samsara and discussed framing and composition of each shot and reflected on the visual story. Students learned to conduct interviews with a 4 point lighting set up, develop a shot list and production schedule. By the end of the 3 week period, students script and storyboard drafts developed and they entered the production phase, beginning to conduct interviews in the field.