Film Studies Program

Making the Mockumentary (new course)

Publication Date

New Course with Filmmaker Jim de Sève (Winter 2019)

Making the Mockumentary, FLM 321, Winter 2019, T/Th 1:55-3:40, Karp 103

Still from What We Do in the Shadows

Still from What We Do in the Shadows

From rock legends that never existed to “found” footage that reveals the final terrifying moments of lost campers, mockumentaries present their too-good-to-be-true tales with a straight face. Often humorous, sometimes scary, iconic mockumentaries like This Spinal Tap; A Might Wind; Borat and even the 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds harnessed real documentary techniques to pull off their hoaxes. Hand-held footage, microphones “accidentally” left on, scenes that are “stumbled upon”, discarded celebrities in search of redemption – these are the stock in trade of the mockumentary.

In this class, you will have a chance to pull off your own documentary hoax. You will develop a fake story, strategize shooting techniques and go into production. At the end of the term we will invite the campus community to view your work.