SVAC offers free documentary film class

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MANCHESTER — Southern Vermont Arts Center is offering a free documentary film class led by Bill Muench, director of the Burr and Burton Academy cinematography program. The class will be offered in three parts during May.

Part I: May 1-8: 'The Artist and the Astronaut'

Any time during this week, Muench's film will be available. Watch a "rough cut" of his nearly finished documentary, "The Artist and the Astronaut." Three years in the making, "The Artist and the Astronaut" explores the extraordinary careers and personal history of nationally known artist Pat Musick and NASA Skylab Commander Jerry Carr, now residents of Manchester.

Part II: Q&A with Muench, Musick and Carr, May 8 at 7 p.m.

Muench and the subjects of his film will host a Zoom meeting together. Questions are welcome on any aspect of the documentary. Find out about Muench's technical and artistic decisions; ask Musick and Carr about their experiences in life and with the film. Historian Paul Muench will also be joining the conversation.

Part III: Filmmaking Class, May 11-30

Make your own short documentary film using a cell phone and the basic software your device already has (though you may not know it). Begin with an introductory group class on Zoom on May 11 at 2 p.m. After that, meet with Muench over Zoom to follow up, one-on-one, at your mutual convenience.

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Muench teaches interviewing techniques to help you end up with footage that is valuable to you. He also guides the editing process. Record people you care about. They can be in your house or anywhere else with an internet connection. Choose to work on a chronicle of quarantine, a family history, or another topic of your choosing. Whether you've always hoped to learn about filmmaking, or you just want to make some meaning out of the current madness, this is a special opportunity.

Participants will have the option to share their completed stories - of family, quarantine, or whatever you choose - on SVAC's YouTube channel.

Registrants will be provided with links to the film and the Zoom sessions. To register, visit For more information, contact Erin Kaufman at or 802-362-1405.

About the presenters

Muench, director of the Burr and Burton Academy cinematography program, moonlights as an astronomer, basketball coach, English teacher and frontman for the Don't Leave Band, among other activities.

Pat Musick has worked in a wide variety of two- and three-dimensional media. Her sculptures are in more than 50 public and private collections, all over the United States.

Retired Marine Corps Col. Jerry Carr worked in various capacities with NASA during the Apollo era and beyond, assisting with design of the International Space Station and other projects. He was commander of the final Skylab mission, and spent more than 2,000 hours in space.


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