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Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies

Salt is Story Learn the Art of Documentary in Radio and Podcasting or Short Film.

Radio and Podcasting

Our approach to Salt’s Radio and Podcasting track allows students to focus on the skills required to tell a compelling story with sound. Via field work, assignments, class discussion, instructor feedback, and peer critique, students learn how to: identify, pre-report, and evaluate a possible story; carry out successful interviews; use interview tape and other elements to build and shape a story; write and edit, and produce polished work in ProTools, the industry standard for audio editing. Students also practice pitching their work and start to market themselves as radio producers. Over the course of the semester, students will produce a variety of short audio assignments as well as an in-depth final project. The class is organized to mirror the structure and flow of an editorial team, with students working as both producers and editors. Students regularly listen to professional and student-produced work as a way of developing the ability to effectively understand and discuss the language of audio storytelling. Graduates of Salt’s Radio and Podcasting track leave with a portfolio of work and a new understanding of how to tell stories using sound. (SA625 8 credits)

Short Film

Salt’s Short Film track allows students to focus on the elements required to tell a compelling story with film. Our approach borrows from the fields of documentary film, journalism, anthropology, art, and design. Via fieldwork, assignments, class discussion, instructor feedback, and peer critique, Salt students learn how to: identify, pre-report, and evaluate a possible story; carry out successful film shoots; use video to build and shape a story; write and edit; and produce polished work in Premiere Pro, an industry standard for editing film. Students also practice pitching their work and start to market themselves as filmmakers. Over the course of the semester, students shoot and produce a short film project as well as an in-depth final project. The class is organized to mirror the structure and flow of an editorial team, with students working as both producers and editors. Students regularly view professional and student-produced work as a way of developing the ability to effectively understand and discuss storytelling in film. Graduates of Salt’s Short Film track leave with a portfolio of short film work suitable for submission to international film festivals and a new understanding of how to tell ethical stories using short film. (SA635 8 credits)

All students who attend Salt also take the following courses:

The Salt Workshop

Storytelling is a powerful form of communication, as well as a creative practice and a tool for public engagement. This workshop is a space to explore the elements of great storytelling, while also taking time to examine history, ethics, and craft. The workshop directly supports and complements work being done in the core Salt tracks. Students come into contact with a range of works and debates, study different storytelling techniques, and produce regular written assignments. They also reflect on their own professional practice and learn how to work with other makers on collaborative projects. Think writing workshop meets anthropology course meets editorial team. (SA650 4 credits)

Field Research

With Maine and northern New England as their classroom, students carry out focused, professional fieldwork as a key part of their Salt experience. In consultation with the instructors of their core tracks (Radio and Podcasting or Short Film), students develop their own story ideas early in the semester based on their interests and the viability of pursuing the topic while at Salt. Students are expected to plan extensively, keep detailed notebooks documenting their research and records of their reporting trips, and uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior with their subjects. Students present their field research and stories-in-progress on a weekly basis and discuss their goals and challenges with fellow students and faculty. They are also instructed on how to best manage the digital assets and archives they create and are expected to uphold those practices. (SA651 4 credits)

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