Jennifer Czech is a film production technician and student at Salt Lake Community College. When Czech signed up for her documentary class through the Communication department, she was used to doing group projects as a film student.
Contact the different departments for more information on independent study courses.
In her many film classes, which included directing and cinematography, she completed projects that required working with other people.
“There are drawbacks to group work in a student setting because students tend to not always be as motivated as maybe you are,” says Czech. “You are working with students on different levels of motivation and different skill sets, which can come together and be very helpful.”
Czech has experience in directing and coming up with different ideas, but is less apt at setting up lights and running a camera. Therefore, the group setting seemed as if it would be beneficial for turning her idea she had for a documentary into a final product. Yet when it came down to making the documentary for her class, the level of participation by Czech’s classmates was less then she had hoped to receive.
Although the film was completed and Czech’s film turned out very well, she still wants to have more time to work on the piece and perfect it so that it may receive distribution on a station like PBS.
Independent Studies courses at SLCC can help an idea formed in a general class to become a personalized project, guided through a one-on-one interaction with a professor for college credit.
Though there may not be many professors that have carried out this method of individualizing a project through independent study courses at SLCC, the structure exists within the educational institution.
“Students who are interested in furthering a project that they have completed, can propose an independent study to take a project that was completed in a class, and spend a semester bettering it,” says Tyler Smith, SLCC video production associate professor.
Czech is doing exactly that with her documentary.
“The benefit of it is I have time with Tyler to help me identify things that can be improved in the documentary and also assisting me in actually improving them” says Czech. “I have a faculty member guiding me. He has so much experience with documentaries that I get the value of that.”
Czech appreciated all the work her classmates did to help the initial documentary come into fruition. This independent study course will now help her make it exactly what she wants with more time than a single class can give.