Monday, June 6 – Friday, June 10

Monday, June 6

The first day of class, during which Worth gives the students a basic overview of filmmaking and later conducts the first interviews with the students. He writes,

I felt that the first session went extremely well. I covered the 3 stages of filmmaking. Stage 1 thinking about an idea, stage 2 photographing the idea and making the shot, and 3 editing…I also discussed the concept of the documentary film. I explained to them what the word meant and a little bit about where it came from (B14FF28PP113-4).

Later, the teachers and students unloaded and arranged the equipment:

The plan that we devised was to explain to the students that I would meet with them first with a group of boys and then having individual conferences with the boys and then with the group of girls having individual conferences with each girl. I decided to use the boys first because… [they] could get to work building the editing tables while I was talking to the girls. While I was talking to the boys, the girls could be helping Dick Chalfen do some electrical work making extension cords, getting more chairs and so forth (B14FF28P114).

Tuesday, June 7

Worth gives a lecture about the “history of picture-making,” which began with cave paintings from “about twenty-five thousand years ago” to present day. He concludes the lecture by saying,

Now really you’re in this long movement that started 2500 years ago with the same problems that they had 2500 years ago. What am I going to show, why am I going to show it and what do I want to make somebody feel when he sees it? It isn’t just that you’re starting today, it follows a long line of many, many people. And that’s really the, the, as I see it the story of picture making how do I put it together so that it makes some sense to me. How can I organize the world in my head and get those pictures of it and I can put them any way I want, and say something with it. This is the stage we’re at, what are we going to do with it? (B15FF3p1534).

Later, students use the cameras for the first time. Worth reflects on their aptitude:

Although I felt that they were suffering from a great amount of shock because of the information that I had given them – very little of this was apparent in the way they handled the camera…All of them took to this with great ease and very little fear (B14FF28P121).

Wednesday, June 8

Worth continues to teach the basics of filmmaking:

My plan for today was the following: / 1. I would talk about what happened to your film when Dick went and brought it to the laboratory. 2. I would talk more about the camera, the tripod, the exposure meter and different sorts of cameras. 3. I would begin my explanation of editing… 4. I would like the students to do more shooting today. I will explain about different lenses but I will not tell them precisely what the different lenses do… 5. I want to do much more interviewing about the work of yesterday…(B14FF28P122).

Thursday, June 9

The class settles in to a regular rhythm, and students see their own films for the first time. Worth writes,

By now our classroom style had come down to a very simple thing. We would meet in the morning, sitting under the pines for about an hour, where I would talk with the class for the work of the day. Any questions (there were usually very few) would come up at this point then into the classroom for a while in the morning, break for lunch, and starting again at 1:30 either working at the editing table or working at shooting. All of this was interspersed with almost daily visits into the office for tape recorded sessions about the film ideas which can be gotten from the tapes (B14FF28P131).

Friday, June 10

At the end of the day, Worth collects his thoughts about the first week of classes. While he reflects on many different issues, one theme that comes up over and over is the comparison between the Navajo students and Worth’s Annenberg students:

Chalfen and Worth agree that technically that after 5 days of instruction these students are ahead of Annenberg students after a week of instruction. By this I mean, that they can load the cameras more skillfully, turn the lenses, focus, and do all the other technical things necessary to get an image on the camera. This does not mean that some Annenberg students are not way ahead of them. It is just a generalized feeling that in the large part the fact that these students are so anxious to learn a technology makes them more able to handle the technology in a shorter length of time. Whether this will be true after 2 or 3 weeks is something that we will have to watch (B14FF28PP133-4).



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