Producing the Documentary class continues despite previous setbacks

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This year's PaceDocs team poses before remote learning.

Alexis Nieman, Media Editor

The highly-coveted class, Producing the Documentary (PaceDocs), had to adapt considerably during the current global pandemic. Their original plan of going to France to document beekeeping on urban rooftops for their documentary, Bee Aware, was no longer doable by March, and so the class had to switch to Plan “Bee.”

The team’s steadfast goal with this year’s documentary was to research and learn more and document honey bees, bumblebees, the significant role they play in pollination across the globe, their effects on society and the effects our society has on them.

Maria Luskay
PaceDocs crew works to set up a camera during filming.

“Between February 29 – March 5, everything changed and our trip was canceled,” Dr. Maria Luskay, leader of the PaceDocs team said. “I broke up the students into geographic teams based on where they live and we started filming at home. The areas are NY, NJ, CT, MA and PA. We are collecting stories from those who are experts in the field, beekeepers, professionals who have direct contact with bees and beekeeping, and those that have a vested interest in the life of bees.”

With the progression of the corona virus making it virtually impossible to leave the house, filming was put on hold. The team has been editing with what they have through websites like Zoom and Discord in order to be able to work together. PaceDocs had to resort to asking beekeepers to record and send videos of the bees to the class in order to use for b-roll. 

Maria Luskay
Students working to interview local beekeepers.

The original premiere date for Bee Aware was May 11th, 2020. The documentary was scheduled to be shown at the Jacob Burns Theater in Pleasantville, with a Parisian and bee themed reception which would have been coordinated by the public relations class, Event Planning. Now, the goal is to have a premiere at the beginning of the Fall semester. 

“I am humbled by the dedication and tenacity of these documentary students,” Luskay said. “Even after we had to move on to ‘Plan Bee’ they rallied. And we are not done. We have a committed team that wants to see this through and will not stop until we do. Our plan has been changed for us, not by our choice. They have learned what the role of a producer is and have supported this project from the beginning. I could not ask for a better group of professionals.”

PaceDocs has continued to update its social media and blogs with information about bees, teaser videos and weekly research. The classes work with the documentary will continue throughout the summer. You can keep up to date with their progress on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channel @ PaceDocs.