Guided by an accomplished filmmaker, get the tools to create a compelling video memoir

There are no available registration dates at this time.

NOTE: This class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform. 
Class meets 10am-1pm Eastern, plus one-on-one consultation from the instructor

Larry Hott might be an award-winning filmmaker of acclaimed documentaries, but he’s also passionate about helping people tell their stories. Whether you are hoping to create a video document about yourself or your family that can travel through the generations, or just want to tell the story of an incident that has changed your life, telling one’s story can be empowering, satisfying, sometimes even healing.

Face it. Everyone’s got a story inside them. Yours might make a good read, but it could really sing as a movie, starring you and your mother and father and sisters and brothers and annoying cousins and that kid who bullied you online and then married you.  All you need to produce it is a little help with your filmmaking and storytelling skills.

How do you light the interviews? How do you work with the equipment you’ve got?  What do you do with the home movies, photo albums and the tens of thousands of digital images on your hard drive?  How do you shape and structure it so that it’s told in a compelling way? What storytelling techniques do you need to know and how are they different from words on a page? How will you pace it, how long should it be, where will you show it, can your therapist be in it? What do you show when there’s nothing to show? Get the answers to these questions and ones you don’t even know enough to ask.

Every morning we will come together in our virtual classroom to examine the dynamics of making an effective video memoir. Afternoons will be spent working on your projects and, as needed, in one-on-one sessions with your instructor.  Working from your home will give you the benefit of accessing your archive of personal materials, and allow you to film in key rooms or neighborhood locations that support your story.

In advance of the class you’ll receive tips on how to prepare.  By the end of the week, you will have created a two-minute segment (or longer) for your video memoir. And you will leave equipped with the confidence, skills and knowledge to work on it beyond the class.

NOTE:  Students should have basic proficiency with a digital video camera or an iPhone.  Experience with editing software fundamentals is helpful.  Please note that Maine Media offers numerous 2-day and week-long workshops on editing software (e.g. Adobe Premiere) for those who want assist in acquiring these skills.  

Image Credits:  Aidan Bliss

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Instructor: Lawrence Hott

Lawrence Hott has been producing documentary films since 1978, when he left the practice of law to join Florentine Films. His awards include an Emmy, two Academy Award nominations, a George Foster Peabody Award, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, the Erik Barnouw Award, five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, fourteen CINE Golden Eagles, screenings at Telluride and first-place awards from the San Francisco, Chicago, National Educational, and New England Film Festivals. Hott was the Fulbright Fellow in Film and Television in the United Kingdom in 1994.  He received the Humanities Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities in 1995; a Massachusetts Cultural Council/Boston Film and Video Foundation Fellowship in 2001; and the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in 2001. He has been on the board of non-fiction writers at Smith College and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Commission, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences. His films for national PBS broadcast include Through Deaf Eyes, American Masters: John James Audubon: Drawn From Nature, Niagara Falls, The Return of the Cuyahoga, Imagining Robert, The War of 1812, The Warrior Tradition, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America,  Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi : The Revitalization of the Lakota Language, SciTech Band: Pride of Springfield, and North America By Design: A Series of Five Short Films for the Library of American Landscape History.