Are you a fan of good stories? Do you find yourself excited by listening to people talk about their experiences? Do you find yourself compiling information, creating your own narrative out of the many voices you hear talking about a particular issue, place, event, or thing? Perhaps you should look into making a documentary.

On May 25, a panel of documentary video producers will give a workshop on documentary video production. The event is sponsored by Western’s very own TV station, KVIK. “I invited a few documentary producers to come speak to students to give insights on the professional field of documentary video production,” said KVIK Coordinator Matt Acosta. “They will talk about what [the field] is like, and give techniques and tips for making documentaries.”

The three panelists are all highly experienced video producers with different areas of specialization. The first is Lisa Spicer, a Western professor who teaches a documentary video class. In addition to teaching at Western, Spicer is an independent producer who has also worked at KCTS in Seattle. The second panelist is Karen Bean, and independent producer who makes nature documentaries. As both of these ladies are hip to the independent video scene, they will be able to speak to some of the practical things associated with the field, such as how to get a grant. The third panelist, Ben Saboonchian, is an award winning video producer who works at KIRO in Seattle. Acosta said he will be giving the perspective “from a more major market,” as his productions have been aired on mainstream television.

“The panel will give a little background of their career, and show examples of their work,” said Acosta. From there, the table will be open for any questions people may have about any aspect of video production, or working in the field of television or documentary. “I like organic discussions,” said Acosta, “so I’m going to open it up to questions.”

“Anyone interested in doing documentary video production, either in film or television, would benefit from coming,” he said. “Any student interested in working in television, anyone interested in journalism or telling stories—that’s what documentary is. It’s telling real stories. Also anyone interested in seeing who’s the authority, who’s telling these stories. Everyone who wants to learn about documentary can come,” he said.

“KVIK had a forum similar to this about a year ago, and it was interesting to see how inspired everyone got, regardless of what they wanted to go into. [The inspiration] of having that insight of someone who’s been doing this for 20 years was contagious,” he said. “Experience translates no matter where you go.”
The documentary video panel will take place on May 25 at 5pm, in VU 567. It is free, and open to students as well as community members.