Docs North 5

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Docs North / Docs Nord 5 is an intensive 5 day workshop on the essentials of a multi-media approach to storytelling for knowledge mobilization.

We are targeting filmmakers, researchers and activists who are interested in working on the theme of harm reduction in our community. Participants and mentors benefit from the sharing of skills and knowledge. The diverse group we bring together will gain practical skills and share ideas regarding filmmaking, animation, new media, interactive and web-based media projects. We will invite filmmaker/ sociologist Greg Scott to Thunder Bay as a visiting mentor and to present his work at Vox Docs, our monthly screening series.

Programming Schedule:
Wednesday – 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Thursday – 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Friday – 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(for full breakdown click here)

Mentor Bios:

Greg Scott founded Sawbuck Productions, Inc. in August of 2005. By training Greg is a sociologist, holding the position of associate professor at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He teach courses on ethnographic documentary film production, photographic/visual sociology, drug use and abuse, and public health and high risk behavior. Sawbuck creates and disseminates multi-media materials — mainly films, audio documentaries, and public art installations — on life at the margins. For the past several years, they’ve been making a lot of short and feature-length experimental art and performance films, focusing mainly on the nooks and crannies and backroads of the rural midwest.​ At Sawbuck, Greg is a writer, producer, director, cinematographer, and chief editor of film and radio projects.
Selected works:
“HURRICANE BLOW” – National Geographic Channel’s “Drugs, Inc.” Series The devastating consequences of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana resulted in a wave of small-scale drug dealers taking over the streets of New Orleans. As a means of coping with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatized locals have turned to cocaine. (Director, Writer, and Cinematographer)
​​”The Family At 1312″ (2009) This film chronicles a matriarchal family system comprised of dispossessed, marginalized, drug addicted people who struggle daily to achieve balance between their individualistic pursuits and the need to rely on each other for survival.
Cracked Quarters (2008) This film chronicles a typical day in the life of people who live in a crackhouse on Chicago’s west side.
The Brickyard: Home of All the Junkies (2006) This 23-minute documentary explores the lives of homeless heroin and crack addicts, sex workers, and drug dealers who inhabit a semi-concealed public space on Chicago’s west side.
Getting Normal (2008) This film contrasts the current experiences of methadone maintenance therapy patients with their past experiences as heroin addicts.
Hody’s Masterpiece (2010) Step up to the viewfinder and watch art in motion as life unfolds at Hody’s Two-High Diner, a social and cultural institution located where Chicago meets its near west suburban cit of Cicero.
Matrimony (2009) The film explores the marriage of Pony Tail Steve and Sapphire Pam, a heroin dependent, homeless couple in Chicago. “Matrimony” challenges the viewer to consider their assumptions.
Begging for Grace (2006) Alternate rough cut of award-winning short documentary that chronicles the daily life of “Freeway,” a heroin-addicted and homeless man on the west side of Chicago.
Reach for Me: Fighting to End the American Drug Overdose Epidemic (2012)
“Reach for Me” is a short film about the American opioid overdose epidemic and the crisis in access to the overdose antidote naloxone.
Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York (2015)
We ARE the People: Drug User Organizing in the United States (2013) Sawbuck Productions, Inc. in association with the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD). This documentary film introduces the five original drug user unions in the United States and demonstrates how the War on Drugs is in actuality a War on People.
Making a Place Called Safe: A Public Health Case for Supervised Injection Facilities (2013) Sawbuck Productions, Inc. in association with the San Francisco Drug Users Union (SFDUU). This documentary advocacy film explores the need for — and the public health arguments in favor of — a supervised drug injection facility in San Francisco, CA. Made in conjunction with the San Francisco Drug Users Union (SFDUU).

Riaz Mehmood’s artistic oeuvre encompasses a range of practices including performance, video, photography and new media. His research explorations straddle several streams, and his practice often visits themes of identity, history, technology, and the acquisition of knowledge. Riaz develops installations and experiences, which explore the expressive use of computation. Through interactive installations and virtual environments, he applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines and in the process make visible our ways of interacting with each other. In his most recent works he has extensively used Arduinos and Raspberry Pi’s boards to change everyday mundane objects into more curious and autonomous beings. Riaz holds an MFA from the University of Windsor (2012), completed the Integrated Media program at the Ontario College of Art and Design (2005), and BSc Civil Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan (1993). He has participated in several International and National artist residencies and workshops, and has earned a number of grants, scholarships, and awards over the years. Riaz is also an educator and has conducted various workshops on digital story telling, 3D projection mapping and Internet of Things (IoT). Riaz has also been involved with a number of artist-run centres and served on the boards of SAVAC and articule. His works have been shown internationally, including the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Kelly Saxberg is a film producer, director, editor and cinematographer with credits on over 90 films. She works in English, French, Spanish and Finnish. Kelly was the writer/director/ editor of “Under The Red Star”, a feature-length historical docu-drama shot on super 16mm film in Finnish and English about the Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay. “Citoyens du Monde” is a 6 hour French and English language documentary series. Shot in 15 countries, the series tackles Canada and international development from the point of view of researchers and scientists in the developing world. She is a collaborator on the SSHRC-funded new media project Kelly is the producer and
cinematographer for “Guardians of Eternity”, a documentary by France Benoit about the toxic Legacy of the Giant Mine in Yellowknife, NWT from the perspective of the Dene of Yellowknife. Her current project “One Woman’s North: The Incredible Journey of Sheila Burnford” received a Northern Arts Grant and is in production. She is working with Amythos Media in Toronto as a production liaison for the France/Canada interactive webizode series “Anna” which will be filmed in Thunder Bay in early spring 2017. Kelly has mentored dozens of emerging filmmakers in Thunder Bay through Flash Frame workshops and collaborative film projects since 2001. She organized Docs North Doc Nord in 2016, 2011-2013, a 5 day intensive filmmaking workshops aimed at filmmakers from remote northern communities across the far north of Ontario. She also organized and was a participant for the 360VR workshop in August 2016.

Marcus Agombar is the festival administration intern at Vox Popular, a co-founder of a grassroots non-profit social enterprise called BaySafe, and a DJ. He completed his Honours Bachelor of Commerce at Lakehead University and has since then worked closely with various working groups of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy including the Harm Reduction Working Group, Alcohol Working Group, and the Drug Awareness Committee. Over the past year Marcus has worked on a United Way – Youth 4 Community grant to provide information sessions to youth in high-risk neighbourhoods to teach them about safer partying and harm-reduction methods.

Full Program:

Wednesday 06 JUNE 2018

Session 1: Multi-media approaches to Story
5:30 pm– 6:30 pm
A look at the art, craft and fundamentals of storytelling and its importance to our lives and communities. Learn how to come up with story ideas, research the idea, define your audience and construct outlines, treatments and shooting scripts. Both linear and interactive storytelling will be covered.

Session 2: Pitch Your Story/ Knowledge Mobilization
7:30 – 9 pm
Find out why research knowledge and experiential wisdom are worth sharing. Learn about two ways in which new media is changing the ways and means that knowledge is exchanged to the benefit of individuals, communities and the society at large, at national and global levels.
Participants will have the opportunity to present their research/ story ideas and receive feedback from the mentors. Find out about writing proposals, treatment writing and preparation, working with a crew and filming ethically.

Session 3: Telling stories through animation / Animating graphics and images
9:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Digitizing photographs and documents can be a great way to share your story. Learn best practices and strategies to store and manage what you have digitized.
Editing and enhancing still images for multi-media using open source soft-ware
Learn how to manipulate or enhance photographs or digitized images using open source software.
We will discuss basic concepts of graphic design, the use of colors, fonts and symmetry.

Session 3: Alternate group: Projection Mapping

In Projection Mapping instead of projecting on a flat screen, the light from the video projector is mapped onto any non-flat irregular surface, turning common objects of any 3D shape into sculptural, interactive displays.
The workshop will introduce participants to the basic principles and techniques of digital mapping. The following topics would be covered:
-Properly preparing the digital content – file types, resolution, format, video codec.
-Choosing and setting up the hard ware -computers, video projectors, external hard drives, speakers, real world objects.
-Keystoning, image correction, visual effects.
-Mask and mapping video to a non-flat object/s and surface/s.

Thursday 07 JUNE 2018

Session 4 Multi-media production and ethics

5:30 pm– 6:30 pm
Pre-production essentials. Learn how to break a script down, produce detailed schedule and identify locations, work with crew. What about permissions and ethics? What software programs are available to help plan and execute your multi-media production? How do you budget your time and resources?

7 pm Vox Docs Mentor Public Screening and Q&A

9pm – 10 pm

Session 5: camera
Using your smart phone, go-pro, 360 or a professional HD camera, learn how to film a sequence and an interview. We will discuss working with natural light, visual language and esthetics.

10 pm – 11pm
Session 6: Sound
3:00 – 5pm
Sound is often the weakest link in media productions. Learn basic sound recording techniques and how to maximize the quality of your sound recordings. We will also discuss sound design and music.

Friday 08 JUNE 2018
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Session 7: Sharing and Interactivity
We will learn how to engage audience through websites, social media, youtube, community screenings, projection mapping.

Session 8: team Production meetings
7:30pm – 9:00pm
Equipment preparation; pre-production planning, hands on practice with equipment.


Multi-media Production Day 1
9 am – 5 pm
4-5 teams will spend half a day filming or capturing creative elements for their mini-doc or multi-media production.


Multi-media Production Day 2
9 am – 3pm
Production continues with in house support for editing and post-production.

Post -production planning
3:30 – 5pm
Editing strategies to condense and structure your story so it has a beginning middle and end.
We will also go over the do’s and don’t of preparing media for the web.

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