Andrea Clark & Kate Fabian


Anyone who watches the History Channel knows the appeal of a well-made history documentary. This class divided into 10 two-person teams to produce a 70-minute documentary of World War I. Each team selected a topic. One team member wrote a 650-word script. The second person collected images, shot interview footage, and recruited “voices” to read historical excerpts. Additionally, person number 2 procured music and sound effects.

To facilitate production, teams constructed storyboards. Storyboarding is a Hollywood technique that matches each segment of script to a particular scene. Each team met with me for 7 hours to join imagery, moving footage, audio, and script in the movie-making software Final Cut Pro X. The Dreadnought script comes to life beautifully in a movie that includes 6 clips of moving footage, 27 stills, 8 sound effects, 3 musical scores, and 3 historical “voices.”

Andrea and Kate recount the battleship engagement known to history as the Battle of Jutland (1916). The script narrates the battle and concludes with strategic analysis of Jutland’s outcome. A live interview with a Rice University Navy ROTC professor reinforces the narrative at critical junctures. A unique feature of this video was video animation charting the ships’ tactical movements that graphically showed what “crossing the T” meant. Also, riveting footage shows a British warship capsizing and exploding.

The video that the students created that accompanies the script may be accessed at:

–Craig Livingston

The Dreadnoughts: Naval Power • Documentary Script and Video

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