Stories of the Susquehanna Documentary Series

Laura Lujan (Bucknell University)

The Stories of the Susquehanna Documentary Series is a public history project in which Bucknell University students discover and unfold the stories of Susquehanna River Valley communities in a 26-minute documentary film. The first documentary in the series, “Utopian Dreams,” will be broadcast by public television station, WVIA. The students involved in this project work full-fledged in all aspects of the production process, including researching local history, pre-planning, and making final edits on Final Cut Pro X.

Presented by Laura Lujan, a student documentary advisor who has been participating in this exploration for two years, this talk will focus on the range of technical, social, and organizational skills acquired from this project. Lujan will discuss her experience and the time she has spent on the creation of “Utopian Dreams” to demonstrate the multi-modal process of filmmaking and the steep learning curve required to enter this vast industry. This project is beneficial not only for the students who created it but also for the community; they have worked together in order to showcase the narratives that surrounded the Susquehanna River.