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Media and cinema studies students in the advanced media practicum are taking a deep dive into documentary film production this semester and gaining valuable hands-on experience in the process. Associate Professor Ann Reisner is overseeing the practicum this fall.

The students are learning basic skills in part through editing existing documentaries to run in a one-hour broadcast on Illinois Public Media next spring.

Linda, a senior in the practicum said, “It’s important for us to have real-world experience in addition to the theory we learn in class. I also went to Sunny Side of the Doc and met important people in the world of documentary film.”

students working at WILLStudents are developing their own short- and long-form documentary ideas and are producing proposals for Op-Docs, The New York Times award-winning forum for short, opinionated documentaries.

Day-to-day management of the practicum is being led by John Lindsay.  He is Illinois Public Media’s Director of National/International productions. Lindsay said “We’re trying to provide students with practical experiences that will prepare them for their careers.”

Through research on the marketplace, students are learning about broadcasters, cablecasters, streamers and aggregators. They have also gone on the road to meet face-to-face with production companies including Kartemquin Films in Chicago, the Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in Champaign.

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