Documentary as ?Text? and ?Experience? in EngAGE Across Generations


Debbie Kim

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EngAGE Across Generations, a mentoring program that promotes the arts, is a partnership between the Burbank Senior Artists? Colony, a retirement community for active senior citizens and the Burbank Community Day School, which offers students with academic and social problems a second chance at high school, it has been a successful program for the past two semesters. The program, funded by the California Council for the Humanities, has been documenting its activities through film to be shown at a culminating event in September 2009. During the summer, I served as a humanist alongside Dr. Katie Mills. My participation in this project was an extension of the mentioned work by conducting interviews, filming B-Roll, creating charts for narrative development, and selecting scenes for the final cut. In this, I was able to explore how the filmmaking for EngAGE Across Generations covered documentary as filmic ?text? and as a shared ?experience?, while bringing together film theory and practice. Film as ?text? defines the documentary as a point of reference, and helps to record rituals that can be ?mirrored throughout the world?. As ?experience?, documentary films offer a glimpse of the realities and ethical decision-making of film production, and enable certain programs to develop and flourish within the community. All the while, this research on the production and crafting of documentaries has re-taught me value the research-like process of filmmaking, and its basic definition as the ?representation of a particular view of world?.


Katie Mills




Ford Research Endowment

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