Infographics as tools of Visual Law

One of the real challenges of policy-oriented documentary films is conveying complex sets of facts in a visually appealing and succinct way. In our own films, we have learned that it takes a strong collaboration between director and animator to bring data to life. And we are always excited to…
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Announcing THE WORST OF THE WORST

The Worst of the Worst tells the story of one Supermax prison in Connecticut, where prisoners deemed security threats are kept in isolation for 23 hours a day, sometimes for years on end. It explores the impact of Supermax on former inmates and correctional officers, and brings in the voices…
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At Film Premiere, Project Founder Valarie Kaur Talks About “Our Grand Experiment”

Welcome, everyone. My name is Valarie Kaur, and I’m the director of the Yale Visual Law Project. It is my great pleasure to welcome you tonight to this special advanced screening of the first-year films of the Project. First, I’m going to tell you a little bit about our grand…
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Experts Wanted: Using Expert Testimony To Empiricize Anecdotes

At this week’s meeting, we somehow managed to attract two more fascinating guest speakers to our Visual Law Practicum. The first was Dave Saldana, who has been a producer, journalism professor, First Amendment lawyer, and communications director. Joe Friedman, who has acted as a director of photography at various points…
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Degrees of Truthiness

We opened our reading group with a discussion of the film Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. The film addressed themes of loss of humanity, faith, and gender relationships; we began with the basic question of why the characters in Rashomon told the stories and lies that they told, and why people tell stories…
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Moss and Musser: Show Images that Say Something

Today, in contrast to our usual practice of screening complete films during our meetings, we thought it might be useful to see how filmmakers deal with problems as they come up during the course of production and editing. We invited Rob Moss and Charlie Musser to class in order to…
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Ellick from the New York Times: Ask The Stupid Question

Our guest speaker, Adam B. Ellick from the New York Times, arrived in class at 7pm. We screened several of his videos, including Tuning Out the Taliban and On Thin Ice. His discussion with us was divided into three basic parts: picking the story and characters; working in the field; and post-production. Once…
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Filmmaking Technique: Capturing Sound

Valarie opened this week’s meeting by conveying the notes of encouragement we had received in the last week from the Yale Law School administration, and their general excitement – and high expectations – for the films we are generating. Thanksgiving break represents a critical time for our films, and an…
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Post, Edelstein, and Larlham on Fugard’s “The Train Driver”

We were extraordinarily lucky today to take part in a conversation with three amazing guests. Our distinguished set of panelists included Robert Post, dean of Yale Law School; Gordon Edelstein, artistic director at Long Wharf Theater (and director of The Train Driver); and Daniel Larlham, a lecturer in Yale’s Theater…
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Filmmaking Technique: Framing and Exposure

Rebecca opened today’s meeting with a discussion of our newly prepared call sheet – which lists, among other details, sunrise/sunset times for filming that will enable us to time our shoots within an hour of sunset. We have also developed production guidelines: a list of reminders and basic principles that…
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