Scripps College of Communication students who took part in the School of Media Arts & Studies' Screenwriting and Documentary Storytelling Program in Ireland this summer gathered for a photo op during a trip to Tory island, off the coast of County Donegal.
Fourteen students, ten from the School of Media Arts & Studies, three from the School of Journalism, and one from Communication Studies, spent their summer in Ireland studying Screenwriting, Documentary Storytelling and Irish Culture Through Film.
Based in County Donegal, at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, each student adapted a short story from Irish literature into a short film screenplay and, working in teams of two, researched and wrote documentary scripts on topics such as the infamous Derryveigh Evictions of 1861, New Immigrants to Donegal, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Autism in Ireland, and Gaelic Football. "This course throws you into the documentary experience head first," said MDIA student Evan Schmidt. "The projects we completed were very challenging, but you learn the entire process first hand. No other class could prepare you as well for making documentaries."
"While in Letterkenny, I learned how to write a screenplay and found a passion for it,” said Journalism School student Cassie Kelly. "I was able to travel outside of Letterkenny for my documentary project and had a lot of fun putting it together. All in all, I am very proud of everything I accomplished academically and I fulfilled my dream of traveling to Ireland."
The students also met with several Irish filmmakers who screened and presented their work, including Maria Mulhall, an assistant director on Game of Thrones, who discussed the daily challenges she is presented with, and her experiences rising through the ranks.
Actor Gerard McSorley who has appeared in films such as Michael Collins, In the Name of The Father and Braveheart also met with the students. McSorley discussed two of his films that document the beginning and the end of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. “Bloody Sunday and Omagh portray the beginning and ending of a horrible civil war,” McSorley said. Omagh dramatizes the aftermath of the 1998 bombing by the Real IRA that killed 29 people in Omagh, McSorley’s home town.
"Meeting people who actually work on sets and make documentaries, and being able to pick their brains and ask questions, made me feel more confidant in my choice to pursue a career in media," said MDIA student Haley Kennedy. "Traveling around Ireland helped me to experience the uniqueness of each county and city. From Letterkenny in Donegal, to Galway, to Dublin to Derry; each place we visited supplied me with a different view of the Irish culture."
To learn much more, and see additional photos, visit to the program’s blog at ohiouniversity2014.wordpress.com. For information about next summer’s program in Ireland contact Associate Professor Frederick Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.