Produce Stronger Video: Writing Films for Museums

Workshop - register now
Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, MCA Chicago, USA, Bridget O'Carroll, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA

Storytelling through moving image is an essential part of museum content production, but tight budgets and even tighter schedules can make content dull and formulaic. So, how do you tell great stories with video? How do you ensure your colleagues are able to contribute and stay on schedule?

This workshop will provide a detailed overview of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s text-based approach to producing hugely successful exhibition videos. Participants will complete exercises that guide them through the film writing process to ensure a successful video that tells a meaningful story. A production process guided by writing not only supports a clear project path, it eliminates the isolation of the filmmaking process, enabling broader participation by colleagues who may not be versed in film production.

Using real-world content, participants will be introduced to each phase of production, beginning with the film treatment written at the inception of a project, to schedule, budget, and scriptwriting through to the final edit. Participants will have access to reference materials, including transcripts and treatments written for MCA exhibition videos, to develop scripts and discuss workflow to help colleagues share their insights in the most useful ways. This develops institutional transparency that provides curators, educators, and beyond an opportunity to contribute, as well as a sense of ownership in producing compelling stories. The methodology covered in this workshop, while focused on video production specifically, translates to audio tours and other digital storytelling media. It is a workshop is for anyone interested in digital storytelling.