Summer Updates

With the start of the summer quarter rapidly approaching, several projects are in development. Two documentaries will be part of SCAD's Directing the Documentary graduate course, while others will be projects conducted outside of class.

 

“Like A Cloud of Mosquitoes: The Lowcountry’s Maritime Legacy”

This documentary will explore the little-known relationship between the Lowcountry's African American maritime heritage and its culinary culture, and how this history is being introduced to a new generation of school children.

In Charleston, South Carolina, a new generation of children is inheriting the legacy of their maritime forefathers through an ambitious boatbuilding project led by Tripp Brower. He, among others, seeks to bridge the divide between young African Americans and some of their ancestors whose expertise as fishermen helped dictate the culinary legacy of the Lowcountry.

Over the summer, a group of students will come together on historic St. Helena's Island, at the Penn Center, to gain new insight into their history while building small wooden boats by hand. 

This program is part of a larger effort in the Lowcountry, especially the African American community, to present educational opportunities to underprivileged children through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Humanities, and Math) programs, in which students can use hands-on learning outside of traditional classrooms to enhance practical learning. Not only will this program teach the children about their history, but it will also introduce them to an artisanal skill, which may provide unique hobbies or employment opportunities after school.

This film will explore the history of the Mosquito Fleet in Charleston from its roots in the 18th century with the descendants of West African Fishermen, to the mid-20th century when the fleet officially ended their operations. Their descendants now live at Sol Legare on James Island. With luck, the lone surviving member of the fleet will provide some memories. Similar groups from the Port Royal Sound area (Bluffton, Hilton Head, Beaufort, Port Royal) will enhance the knowledge collected in this project. This will include fishermen from the region and the owners of a now-closed oyster factory in Bluffton.

Charleston is a part of the Sweetgrass Corridor, also known as the Gullah/Geechee Corridor of the Southeast from Wilmington to Jacksonville. Modern culture in this region is deeply influenced by the West African slaves brought to this country by way of Barbados. Their culinary legacy continues to influence our diets today. 

 

“Local Oysters”

This film will be a small scale expose. Though the scope of the film will only involve one man in one region, its message and conflict mirror similar struggles across the world.

Founder of Charleston Waterkeeper (a nonprofit devoted to ensuring clean waterways for economic and recreational use around Charleston, South Carolina), Cyrus Buffum, sets out on a new venture to responsibly harvest oysters from Bull's Bay for Charleston-area restaurants, while using traditional and sustainable practices. Explore the challenges of small-scale oyster harvesting in one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.

This film will explore the challenges of being a small-scale food producer in an industrial food world, while maintaining the integrity of sustainably harvested, locally sourced food.

"Donna"

This film will be an independently made narrative short following a disturbed man as he is released from prison and sent out into the world on his obsessive quest to find Donna. This film will be narrated by the protagonist and will not rely on dialogue between characters within the real world of the film in order to tell the story. All that we need is in our protagonist's head, so we will experience everything as if we are limited-omniscient observers tied to him and his obsession.

The film's tone and settings will reflect a deeply Southern Gothic mood.

The film will be shot in the Savannah, Georgia area using local actors and crew, with equipment from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

W. Grey Gowder