This week we asked the crew what films documentaries inspire the work they want to create in Spain and why they were interested in making a documentary to begin with. Here were some of their responses:

“Being passionate about all areas of film and screen studies, I realized that documentary was a genre that I certainly wanted to explore further. Along with my deep love for traveling, the opportunity to work with fellow students and faculty on such a professional production made me certain that I wanted to participate in the Spain ‘24 documentary and give my all to it. Last semester I had to watch RBG (2018) which inspired me to take this class and it taught me the importance of documentaries.”

– Fiona Torres Moino

“I wanted to help make a documentary as a way to build my resume and get some experience in the field of production. I have worked in a couple of student films with Professor Guarneri, but working in something like this can help me prosper in the real world of filming. I am personally not a fan of documentaries, but I have been watching some Pace documentaries to prepare. My favorite Pace Documentary is Cuba’s Crossroads: Hope, Rock, and [R]Evolution.

– Scott Glover

My Octopus Teacher: review – Discover English

“My life-long interest in watching documentaries is a large part of why I joined the PaceDocs course. I want to make a documentary because I am passionate in education and providing a platform to a cause or topic that is important. Some documentaries that have inspired me are My Octopus Teacher (2020), The Endless Summer (1966), Forks Over Knives (2011), and the series Long Strange Trip (2017).”

– Lilah McCormack

“I was inspired to join this project because I’m really drawn to the story aspect of the documentary. I feel oftentimes as a viewer we don’t consider documentaries to have a story, that it is a purely informational medium. This idea of what a documentary is meant to be is exactly what makes it a compelling method to tell narrative. I’m so grateful to be allowed to help tell this story.”

– Aryeh Williams

“I chose to be a part of this project because it is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and it is a topic I am familiar with. By working in a fast-paced workspace, it is preparing me for real world work opportunities. One documentary that inspired me was Making of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (Video, 2002). There are so many others I could list, but that one really inspired me to think about how documentaries are made.”

– Donovann Smit

“I chose to take this course to gain real-world experience working on a professional film production. I am hopeful that the experience I will gain from this course will prepare me for my career as a professional filmmaker. The documentaries that have inspired me are the nature shows that channels like National Geographic.”

– Lorenzo Osorio

“As someone intrigued mostly by storytelling in film, I have always wanted to replicate the charisma and interest that Kamau Bell does in United Shades of America (Series, 2016 – Present). Combining information uniquely to portray a message or story accurately is what I want to do in any production. I knew this course would offer practical experience and application that will allow us as a team to tell the rich history and stories of the subjects, as it has done for many years.”

– Jackson Blackburn

Watch The Last Repair Shop | Disney+

“I was excited to experience the full filmmaking process in this class. I have always loved finding the story in any and all situations as a writer, and being able to dig into a subject and watch the story unfold in front of us is a challenge I’m looking forward to. Some of my favorite documentaries aren’t afraid to lean into the emotion of a moment, allowing it to strengthen the story and provide more depth: Dear Zachary (2008), The Last Repair Shop (2023), The Deepest Breath (2023), and Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Their Young (2014).”

– Rachel Hutchings

“I have always enjoyed documentaries. Documentaries such as Class Action Park (2020) and Fyre (2019) were always so interesting to me, even if I didn’t previously know a lot about the topic. In addition, I enjoy film production, and jumped at the opportunity to get professional, real world experience. This course combines two things I greatly enjoy, and I’m grateful and incredibly excited for the opportunity to tell this kind of story in this format.”

– Kat Brennan

“I wanted to make a documentary not only to gain experience in production but also because I love documentaries and the idea that we can use filmmaking to educate people on various topics. I’ve always been interested in filming documentaries and travel and this course combines those while also teaching me the importance of storytelling so I am very excited to be a part of it. Some of my favorite documentaries are Free Solo (2018) and My Octopus Teacher (2020).”

– Kaycee Cuzick

“I wanted to be a part of the documentary because this class gives me the opportunity to further my academic and professional career. Some of my earliest work in Film took place in my undergrad. I helped produce a documentary, Called the Clementine Collective, Run by Health 4 Youth Inc. it was based on food scarcity on Staten Island, it is currently on YouTube. I most recently worked on a documentary for a writers workshop. They are collaborating with a writer who is sharing her perspective about an African Burial Ground she is helping protect in Brooklyn. Pace documentary is my next chapter in pursuing a mark in film making.  Some of my favorite documentaries: I do not have a favorite. I recently watched Professor Sager’s PBS doc Raising Liberty Square (2023), it captured a beautiful story about the housing crisis and climate change. Another documentary I just watched was Bob Marley.”

– Derrick Edafe

Watch Tiger King | Netflix Official Site

“I think it’s important as an upcoming filmmaker to explore and experiment with every genre of film, becoming familiar with the sum of its parts. Documentaries are challenging, especially learning the ropes of work that goes into pre-production, interviewing, transcribing, and adapting to an overall fast paced work environment. Documentaries are a perfect way to prepare for real world work opportunities, and throughout the class I’ll strive to learn as much as possible. Some documentaries that I’ve watched more recently that have inspired me and helped my understanding of it’s format are Tiger King (Docuseries, 2020), Trainwreck: Woodstock 99 (Docuseries, 2022), Don’t F*ck With Cats (Docuseries, 2019), Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017), and Super Size Me (2004).”

– N

Next Saturday we’re off to Córdoba! That means 8 days left to catch up on our crew’s faves and the previous Pace Docs before the next one starts production. As always, be sure to follow the journey on our socials.