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OSA 027-W21 | SALT: The Art of Archival Filmmaking

OSA 027-W21 | SALT: The Art of Archival Filmmaking

3/22-3/26 Online

Maximum Enrollment: 10 LBS

Course Description

How can found media like news reels, advertisements, and home movies be used to tell personal stories, or ask difficult societal questions? In this intensive 5-day workshop, students will test the boundaries of non-fiction storytelling by learning the craft, history, and theory of working with appropriated material. The course includes film screenings and discussions of notable short-form and long-form archival films, as well as readings on the approaches and challenges in archival filmmaking. Students begin the course by familiarizing themselves with various digital archives and then researching a topic of their choosing. From there, students will learn strategies and techniques for organizing, repurposing, and editing various forms of found media. After a series of editing days and critiques, students will have a completed short archival documentary for their portfolio. Students should have access to a computer that can support Adobe Premiere (Macbook Pro or equivalent), a working knowledge of Premiere (or another editing program), and reliable wifi access for downloading material from the web.

3/22-3/26 Monday-Friday 10-4pm 

Sample schedule:

10-12pm: Zoom class
12pm: lunch break
After lunch: project work
3-4pm: Zoom class


Tuition: Early bird special! $395 until Feb 25, then $525

CEUs: 3.5



Brian Gersten is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor currently based in Western Massachusetts. His films have gone on to screen in ten different countries and at dozens of notable film festivals around the globe. Some of Brian's most recent work can be seen on the likes of PBS, Amazon Prime, Kanopy, and The Atlantic. His films have been written about in Forbes, Film Inquiry, and The AV Club. In addition to making his own films through his production company, Sufficient Films, Brian also works as a freelance editor. Most recently he edited the feature documentary, "Searching for Mr. Rugoff", which premiered at DocNYC in 2019. Currently, Brian is editing a feature documentary about the life and work of author Tom Wolfe.





Mac or PC, Adobe Premiere, Reliable Internet/Wifi, External Hard Drive.


The Salt Institute of Documentary Studies at Maine College of Art presents Salt Studies, a series of snack-sized workshops, crash courses, webinars, and intensives to help refine your skills in the worlds of radio, podcasting, film-making, and rich media storytelling. These courses are made possible through a collaboration with our Office of Continuing and Professional Studies (CS), which offers a variety of courses in art education, arts, crafts, documentary studies, storytelling, and more. 


Our CS courses are usually offered on the web using a combination of our learning management system (Canvas) and/or video-conferencing software (Zoom or Google Meet). This information will be shared with you prior to the start of the course. 


If you have any questions about this or any other Salt Studies course in the CS catalogue, please contact us at CStudy@meca.edu, or call us at 207.699.5061 


The full Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is officially the GraduateProgram, which offers 16 Graduate credits culminating in a full Graduate Certificate and which takes place over a 15-week semester onsite in historic Portland, Maine. If you are interested in the Graduate Certificate program, please check us out here.

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