Dixie State faculty teach documentary film seminar in Vietnam

Dixie State University Assistant Professor of Digital Film Phil Tuckett, right, and Producer and Instructor Dan Molloy film the documentary "Dreams of the Black Echo" in Vietnam while there conducting an introductory documentary film seminar for Duy Tan University students. Undated | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As part of its international partnership with Duy Tan University, Dixie State University sent representatives from its digital film program to Da Nang, Vietnam, to conduct an introductory documentary film seminar.

Producer and Dixie State University Instructor Dan Molloy teaches Duy Tan University students about the camera they are using in the introductory documentary film seminar he is helping lead as part of DSU’s partnership with DTU. Undated. | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

Through the film studies and production partnership with the university in Vietnam, Dixie State is teaching Duy Tan how to develop a documentary film department while DTU shares its expertise in computer generated imagery with DSU.

“DSU can learn from Duy Tan’s CGI capabilities (computer-generated imaging) and they are benefiting from our production expertise through DSU Films,” DSU Assistant Professor of Digital Film Phil Tuckett said. “This collaboration has already proven mutually beneficial with more to come.”

Tuckett and producer and DSU instructor Dan Molloy currently are leading the three-week seminar. For the first two weeks of the experience, Tuckett and Molloy are teaching film production skills including camera, lighting, audio and interviewing techniques. They also are taking students to shoot on locations such as the Monkey Mountain military base and Marble Mountain in Vietnam.

For the last week of the seminar, the four best students from the class of 17 are joining Tuckett and Molloy in Quang Tri Province, immediately south of Vietnam’s old Demilitarized Zone to shoot “Dreams of the Black Echo.” The documentary, a joint venture between Dixie State and Duy Tan, will be screened as the opening film in Dixie State’s Docutah International Documentary Film Festival in 2018.

As part of the collaboration, members of the Duy Tan faculty traveled to St. George last September to attend Docutah.

The partnership emerged thanks to Vietnam veteran and DSU patron Dave Hansen, who helped connect Dixie State officials with DTU President and Provost Dr. Le Nguyen Bao.

Dixie State University Assistant Professor of Digital Film Phil Tuckett, helps Duy Tan University students film a scene for the documentary “Dreams of the Black Echo” at a Vietnamese military cemetery in Khe Sanh while in Vietnam conducting an introductory documentary film seminar. Undated | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

In 2014, the film “Soldiers’ Sanctuary” was screened at Docutah and featured Hansen and his involvement with a group called PeaceTrees Vietnam, which is devoted to reconciling American and Vietnamese veterans. The group unites veterans from both sides to dispose of explosive remnants that are still on former Vietnam battlefields and plant trees in their place.

As part of their education, students in Dixie State’s digital film program work with Docutah as well as DSU Films, a unique entity that allows students to work on commercial production projects alongside industry professionals.

The digital film program provides advanced production training in cinema and the opportunity for Dixie State students to work on commercial projects and documentary productions in real-world environments. In addition to learning operational aspects of digital film, such as lighting, camera and sound production requirements, students receive hands-on training in pre- and post-production techniques. The program also includes academic coursework in film theory, history and criticism, screenwriting, editing and documentary production.

To learn more about Dixie State University’s Bachelor of Science in Digital Film, which is offered through the university’s College of the Arts, click here.

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