DOCUMENTARY FILM WORKSHOPS BEGIN SEPT. 7
ORANGE CITY – Filmmaking is best learned by doing, said Mark Volkers.
This award-winning filmmaker is teaching a series of documentary film workshops in Orange City and Sioux Center Sept. 7, Oct. 17 and Nov. 7.
Workshop participants will explore the ingredients that go into successful documentary filmmaking. “How do we edit?” “What’s the best way to shoot an interview?” “What’s ethical when filming people?” “How much footage do I need?” “How do you create a story when doing a documentary?”
Students and Volkers will also work together on editing. “Unlike narrative (Hollywood) films, the real storytelling for documentary takes place when you sit down to edit,” said Volkers, who teaches digital media production at Dordt.
“Like any filmmaking, documentary is both an art and a science,” he said. “The science is beginning to understand the basics of composition, the use of space, the power of music and sound, font choice, color, camera angle, pacing and more. The art is putting all those ingredients together to create something that stirs people.”
A well-done documentary, like any good art, causes people to question things they thought they knew, said Volkers. “It’s entertaining, and maybe – just maybe – begins the process of change.”
Workshops will be held Sat., Sept. 7 from 9 to noon at Old Factory Coffee Shop, Orange City; Thurs., Oct. 17 from 7 to 10pm at Fruited Plain in Sioux Center; and Thurs., Nov. 7 at 7pm at Vogel Community Room, DeWitt Learning Commons, Northwestern College. Students will create short four to eight-minute documentaries. Volkers will be available to answer questions and help throughout the experience, culminating in the public viewing of the group’s work and judges’ prizes to Best of Show ($250) and Honorable Mention ($100).
Sponsors of the OrangeRind documentary film workshops are Orange City Arts Council, Sioux Center Rec & Arts Council and Northwestern College. Awards sponsor is OC Basketball Productions, LLC: the primary production company of the film, Winning Favor.
Fee for the three-part workshop is $40 for adults and $25 for students, in advance. After Sept. 3, the fee is $50 and $35. Register at Northwestern’s Student Development Office, Orange City Arts Council or Mark Volkers’ office at Dordt College.
Beginners are welcome. No special camera gear is needed; HiDef is preferred, but not necessary. Free editing software is available. Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier are all possibilities.
Volkers, of Orange City, most recently produced The Fourth World, which has won multiple awards on several continents. The Fourth World will be shown free at the Northwestern College Green at 8:30pm Thurs., Aug. 29. Rain location is Northwestern’s DeWitt Theatre.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, ocArts@orangecityiowa.com, email@example.com, 712-707-6514 or orangecityarts.net.
For everyone who has ever had a desire to shoot and edit a short documentary film, this is a rare opportunity with the help of an experienced guide.
Award-winning film, The Fourth World, shown August 29
ORANGE CITY – The award-winning film, The Fourth World, produced by Mark Volkers, will be shown on the Northwestern College Green Thursday, Aug. 29 at 8:30pm.
Volkers, with assistance by Dordt College students, shot the film over a three-year period, mostly in the Philippines, Guatemala and Kenya.
“We wanted to tell the story of a billion people—one in six of us—who live in a slum,” said Volkers. “But it’s impossible to wrap our minds around a number like that. So to help us deal with the macro-picture of global poverty, we tell micro-stories—stories of individuals who are part of that one billion.”
In Manila, Philippines, the crew spent a week with a family that lives under a bridge and digs in garbage. They focused on the 15-year-old daughter, Jovelyn.
In Guatemala City, Volkers and his assistants spent a week with two women. One, Salma, was sold into the sex trade at age eight by her mother. The other, Tanya, was shot in the spinal cord a decade ago. She survives by begging – from her wheelchair – on a busy street corner.
In Nairobi, Kenya, the crew concentrated on 16-year-old Felix, who sells ears of corn to help him stay in school. He lives in the Mathari Valley, one of the largest slums in Africa, and is from the Luo ethnic group. President Obama is also a Luo.
“These people, caught up in this massive migration from countryside to city, tell their own stories,” said Volkers. “They are engaging, wonderful people who are caught up in some pretty dire circumstances. Through their stories, we get the big story.
“Is the story depressing? Not really,” said Volkers. “Is it a wake-up call? Absolutely. Will you be surprised by what you see? Absolutely.”
Volkers, of Orange City, teaches digital media production at Dordt, but served as a missionary in an African village for seven years and has also been a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker for Christian Reformed World Missions and other organizations, winning numerous national and international awards. The Fourth World has won over 30 awards, including the Award of Merit at the Lucerne International Film Festival, the Best Documentary Feature at the Third World Indie Film Fest, and Telly Awards in Cinematography and Documentary.
The Fourth World is currently showing on television in Ireland, Turkey, Greece, other European countries, and across the Middle East. It’s for sale via iTunes, Amazon and Hulu. Volkers and company are working on deals in Australia and New Zealand. “We keep pushing to get the story told in new markets. The fourth world is a hidden world and we want to expose it for what it is,” he said.
The free film showing is the 2013 version of the OrangeRind Film Festival, which began three years ago by the Orange City Arts Council and Vaughn Donahue. This year’s OrangeRind includes the screening of The Fourth World, plus documentary film workshops taught by Volkers. (See sidebar.)
Sponsors are the Orange City Arts Council, Sioux Center Rec and Arts Council, and Northwestern College. Inclement weather location is Northwestern’s DeWitt Theatre. Bring lawn chairs or blankets.
See a piece done by Jerry Mennenga on Mark Volkers & the screening of The Fourth World: http://wp.me/p2sl9o-uQ
For more information, contact ocArts@orangecityiowa.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.orangecityarts.net or www.fourthworldfilm.com .
Dates, times & locations for Documentary Film Workshops:
Sat. Sept 7, workshop #1, 9am -noon. Doc boot camp. Old Factory Coffee Shop, Orange City
Thurs, Oct 17: workshop #2, 7-10pm. Rough-cut critiques. The Fruited Plain, Sioux Center
Thurs Nov. 7: Finale. Screening for public. Awards. 7:00pm. Vogel Community Room at DeWitt Learning Commons, Northwestern College.