How Not to Make a Documentary (2012)

The Center for Social Media teamed up with MIT's New Media Literacy project to create three video exemplars with six American University School of Communication students. At the Center, the project was co-lead by SOC's Maggie Burnette Stogner and CAS's Celine-Marie Pascale. These exemplars are intended to help educators explore the skills needed to create new media with their students, and to be used as models to help students create their own exemplars. Adam Enatsky and Paul Kim produced an informative and funny video called "How Not to Make a Documentary." Their video profiles documentary filmmaker and cultural worker Louis J. Massiah SM '82, while at the same time chronicles pitfalls novice doc filmmakers should avoid.

Massiah is the founder/director of Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia. His innovative approach to documentary filmmaking and community media have earned him numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship, two Rockefeller/Tribeca fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His award-winning documentaries, The Bombing of Osage Avenue (1986), W.E.B. Du Bois – A Biography in Four Voices (1996), two films for the Eyes on the Prize II series (1987), and A is for Anarchist, B is for Brown (2002)have been broadcast on PBS and screened at festivals and museums throughout the US, Europe, and Africa. In 2011, he was commissioned to create a five-channel permanent video installation for the National Park Service’s President’s House historic site.  Other projects include video installations for The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a Nation and the Musée des Civilisations Noires in Dakar, Senegal. He is the project director and co-programmer of We Tell: 50 Years of Participatory Community Media. He holds a Master of Science in Visual Studies from MIT, where he has been a visiting scholar.

Timeline: 2010s
School: School of Architecture and Planning
Department: ArchitectureComparative Media Studies/Writing
Career: Arts & Humanities
Object: Video
Collection: Africa, Rising Voices 1995-Present, Students, W.E.B. DuBois