December 16, 2014
Chico Colvard–documentary filmmaker, film series curator, and lapsed lawyer–explains how he puts skills acquired during his legal training to work in the documentary world.
December 5, 2014
Visual legal advocacy and scholarship (PVAS) are being taught and produced in law schools around the country today and the PVAS Working Group intends to support their expansion.
November 10, 2014
The late Harry Reicher, Adjunct Professor at Penn Law, made extensive use of visual material in teaching Holocaust Studies in the Law. His talk at the Shoah Foundation explains how and why.
“Get Digi With It”: AUDIOVISUAL TECHNOLOGY’S CHALLENGE TO RESTRICTIONS ON RECORDING IN PENNSYLVANIA PRISONS
October 21, 2014
The PA Department of Corrections’ nearly complete ban on recording in its facilities by lawyers and the media needs to be reexamined in light of advances in the use of digital audiovisual technology and visual legal advocacy.
When HBO or POV Comes Calling: Defense Counsel’s Role in an Observational Documentary of a Criminal Proceeding
September 21, 2014
Supreme Court precedent required that a juvenile offender serving four consecutive terms of LWOP be resentenced. Learn about the role his defense lawyers played in representing him as the subject of the observational documentary “15 to Life.”
August 28, 2014
What guidance should law students be given about capturing candid images of the public, in public and without the subjects’ consent, for a “DIY Stock” gallery?
August 14, 2014
When social justice collaborations and storytellers are in short supply, visual legal advocates should pursue the promise of i-Docs (Interactive Documentaries) to encourage participation and activism for change.
August 3, 2014
Having a DIY gallery of stock images of your own making is a sine qua non to teaching and practicing visual legal advocacy. Capturing stills and video footage with the characteristics of street photography in mind will really enrich the collection.
Teaching Advocacy Video Production in Law School: Getting by with a Lot of Help from My Collaborators
July 26, 2014
This is the first in a series of “how-to” posts on structuring a course that involves law students, supported by a host of collaborators, in producing and directing short social justice advocacy documentaries.
June 23, 2014
“The Memphis 13” is not only a powerful and thought-provoking short documentary; it also illustrates the potential contributions of visual legal scholarship.
June 16, 2014
In making the case for resources and training in visual legal advocacy, a public defender describes how a video she shot in a client’s home with his mother was effective in reducing his sentence.
June 6, 2014
Sometimes legal research generates a good topic for a student-made visual legal advocacy video. It did in the case of “Nowhere to Run: Giving Philly’s Urban Youth a Place to Play.”
May 31, 2014
Conducting interviews for social justice documentaries gives students the opportunity to understand the importance of affirming human connections as they learn how to use cameras, lights, and mikes,
May 27, 2014
Lawyers play a supporting role in protecting and assisting protesters who interact with digital visual technology. The lawyers may be practicing criminal law, civil liberties, or international human rights.
Documenting Social Justice Protests #2: “In Struggle” with Signs, Symbols, Spectacle, and Respect for Social Connections
May 22, 2014
Not only should visual artist activists produce work that is authentic and creative, they should also pay due regard to the importance of social connections to movements for social change.
May 20, 2014
The Chinese audience for Internet video programming is much like that for television documentaries. Few dreamers here.
May 12, 2014
Renowned documentary duo, Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, discuss the challenges of and hopes for their latest documentary project, which follows a lawyer fighting for “personhood” rights for chimpanzees.
May 10, 2014
Video of the 2014 VLA Roundtable “Preparing to Protest” shows how “creative cultural resistance” can increase the visual impact of direct action social justice protests.
April 25, 2014
Sentencing videos are short nonfiction advocacy pieces that can help criminal defendants obtain better sentences by illustrating with images, sound, and text their capacity as a human beings to suffer, err, grow and change.
April 17, 2014
How does a documentary filmmaker whose focus is the history of black people’s struggle for equality satisfy the conflicting demands of an audience that lived the history and an audience that needs to learn it?
April 16, 2014
Two new Hollywood films have the same titles as recent documentary films. How is that legal?
February 26, 2014
Documentary guru Thom Powers thinks that organizations that support doc filmmakers need to create a legal defense fund to help filmmakers pay legal bills.
March 29, 2014
The latest opinion from the Southern District of New York betrays misapprehensions about documentary filmmaking, and, in the process, renders documentary outtakes more vulnerable to subpoena than they should be.
March 8, 2014
American Promise documents the education of two middle-class African-American boys in New York City from kindergarten through high school. With the documentary as a springboard, the filmmakers are spearheading a larger social justice campaign to support better educational opportunities for African-American males.
March 14, 2014
Moving to China has given guest blogger Michael L. Wong a different perspective on the documentary “Last Train Home” which follows the Zhangs, a migrant worker couple, on their visit home for the Chinese New Year.
February 20, 2014
The documentary “Kids for Cash” is as much about the limits of zero tolerance policies and the harms of the school-to-prison pipeline as it is about judicial greed and corruption. Who knew?
February 17, 2014
After Justin Thomas, a 29-year-old documentary film student, was arrested and detained for filming the exterior of a NYPD precinct in Brooklyn, the charges were dropped and Thomas won a $15,000 settlement in a civil rights lawsuit.
January 22, 2014
A New York appellate court granted summary judgment to HBO and a production company that was developing a reality series about the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit in a case involving excessive use of force.
January 20, 2014
A lawsuit reveals details about documentarian Errol Morris’s struggle to get consent forms signed by Joyce McKinney, the subject of the film Tabloid.
January 20, 2014
The PUMA Impact Awards have created an archive of case studies detailing how filmmakers and advocates use film and video to make a difference in the world.
January 18, 2014
A California appellate court affirms dismissal of tort claims against documentarian Errol Morris and his team, but the filmmakers still have a legal fight ahead of them against Joyce McKinney, the main subject of Tabloid.
January 18, 2014
Call Me Kuchu co-director Malika Zouhali-Worrall talks about gaining trust of documentary film subjects.