The Fourth Purpose will of course have people talking, but compared to most "education" documentaries, these folks will be shown as alive and active in their work environments. We will not only see children but we will talk and listen to them. They will make up a significant portion of our bevy of "experts."
We will visit schools and other places where people teach themselves: homes, farms, street corners, shops, forests, mountains, as well as some select foreign locations. We will use archival film and still photos. We will illustrate ideas with original animation and clips from grand old movies like Good-bye Mr. Chips, Zero For Conduct and The Blackboard Jungle. We will shoot at a ratio of 20:1, or approximately 120 hours of 16mm film (260,000 feet). For verité work we will use small, three-person crews so as minimize the impact of the filmmakers' presence.
There will be a graphic environment using animation, diagrams, charts, and timelines to lay out hard statistical data in a useful and entertaining manner. We will develop characters: people whose stories illustrate the points to be made, and we will follow them throughout the series, creating a narrative thread with an emotional drive. We will watch people both succeed and fail through history and into the present. There will be lively debates throughout the series. People's voices will resonate throughout the history of schooling as they argue with one another across the dimension of time.
There will be a rich and varied soundtrack using music, sound effects, and oral histories. An original score will be commissioned for the documentary and we will select appropriate period tracks to augment the score.
We will use a variety of narrative techniques, including that of a known personality as a core narrator. Actors' voices will be used to portray historical figures. The documentary's themes will be presented in the form of questions, musings, and quotes from journals and books. We will employ a variety of techniques for the interviews, including: The master interview, real-time head-to-head debates, the "antagonistic" interviewer, multiperson discussions and edited or "dueling quotation" debates.
Insofar as television can be an interactive medium, we will embed that aspect into this seriesdeveloping ways for the audience to react at homeUsing the Internet as a catalyst, we will host local debates, group and family discussions, activities, and exercises. The Fourth Purpose will not be for couch potatoes. Watching it will be an exhilarating, inspiring, and challenging experience. The creation of a Web site will be a key part of The Fourth Purpose package. Not only will it be used to market the series, but it will be designed itself as a workshop and educational forum.
Comments by Gatto | Brief Summary | Long Summary | I'd Like to Contribute! | The Odysseus Group
Introduction | Intro Page 2 | The Episodes | Summary
What is The Fourth Purpose? | Technique, Style and Format
A Few Questions | Final Word
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