News & Events

April 2008

Rachel Grady's Visit

Rachel Grady's Visit

Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Rachel Grady, visited the Institute to talk with students and faculty about her films. Jesus Camp was nominated for Best Documentary Feature in the 2007 Oscars. During her recent visit, Grady screened her films Boys of Baraka and Jesus Camp and talked about the making of the films.

Grady shared insight on everything from how to create story arcs to working closely with a partner (both Jesus Camp and Boys of Baraka were co-directed with Grady’s film partner, Heidi Ewing). Grady agrees with most documentary filmmakers that finding the initial story is the hardest part of the process. One of her films in development right now stemmed from a segment shot for Jesus Camp. She says this is a great way to discover new ideas.

Grady also discussed how she cultivates trust and relationships overall with subjects and, in the end, how her subjects have reacted to the films. She and Ewing screened both films with their subjects before the premieres so that the subjects knew what to expect. They both continue to have close personal relationships with the boys from Boys of Baraka.

During the second day of her visit, Grady met with the second-year student thesis teams. Grady watched students’ rough cuts and provided feedback on how to iron out the finishing details on the films.

From heading to Saudi Arabia with loads of access to working on a new collaborative piece, Freakonomics, Grady’s experience in documentary filmmaking is ever-growing and invaluable to DI students looking for a similar path.

Rachel Grady’s visit was sponsored in part by the Florida Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, which attracts and promotes film and video production in Florida, facilitates access to filming locations and serves as a liaison between the film industry and Florida government entities to support growth of the film industry in Florida.