Harvard Law Documentary Studio (HLDOCS)
A. These Rules shall exist to facilitate student participation in all HLDOCS activities.
B. These Rules shall be made available on the HLDOCS website.
C. Amendments to these Rules shall be approved by a majority of the Board.
A. General Members must attend one screening and one training of their choice each semester.
B. Production Members must attend one screening per semester and Core Trainings (see IV.A.iii below) in order to access equipment.
III. Documentary Production
A. Annual Projects
i. Project Proposals and Identification
1. At the start of each academic year, HLDOCS shall accept submissions for documentary film projects dealing with social and policy topics.
2. Submissions must come from a Proposing Student, who must be a current student at Harvard University enrolled for the current academic year.
3. All submissions shall meet criteria outlined in the HLDOCS Annual Project Proposal Form. The Board shall interview selected Proposing Students.
4. A discretionary number of Annual Projects will be selected each fall based on potential impact and feasibility.
ii. Crew Formation
1. All Annual Project Crew members must be Production Members of HLDOCS and must attend Core Trainings (see IV.A.iii below).
2. Filmmaking is a highly collaborative process and responsibilities will often overlap, though the Director has ultimate artistic control over projects. General descriptions below aim to facilitate collaboration rather than rigidly define positions.
3. Each Crew must have a Director; project needs shall determine whether other positions are added. For each Annual Project selected, the Proposing Student shall usually serve as either the Director or the Producer of the project, but may choose not to participate in the Crew.
4. Crew members:
a. Director: The Director shall exercise artistic control over the project. The Director shall endeavor to conduct interviews personally but can appoint a substitute if necessary.
b. Producer: The Producer shall manage all aspects of the project except for the Director's creative responsibilities, including fundraising, Crew management, and distribution.
c. Editor: The Editor shall oversee post-production.
d. Director of Photography ("DP"): The DP shall have primary responsibility for operating the camera during shoots.
e. Sound Recordist and Engineer ("SRE"): The SRE shall operate the microphone and monitor sound quality on shoots.
5. In parallel with the project submissions process, students shall apply for Crew positions. Applying for multiple positions shall be permitted and encouraged, and no experience shall be required.
6. Based on these applications and on discussions about applicants’ interests, the Board shall assign students to Crew positions on a specific Annual Project.
7. If a student becomes unavailable, the Director may appoint another Crew member as a temporary substitute. Board approval is required for expanding the Crew.
B. Independent Projects
i. All Independent Project Crew members must be Production Members of HLDOCS and must attend Core Trainings (see IV.A.iii below).
ii. Independent Project Crew structure guidelines shall be the same as those for Annual Projects (see III.A.ii above), though no applications shall be required.
iii. Independent Projects may not use the HLDOCS name or logo in any of their film content, promotional materials, or any public communications, unless the Board determines otherwise (see "Use of Name" below).
iv. Independent Project Crew members are welcome to attend all HLDOCS trainings and access equipment, so long as they have Production Membership status.
v. Board approval is required before an Independent Project is posted on the HLDOCS website. No approval is necessary for posting on other websites or outlets (e.g. Youtube), provided that Use of Name rules are followed.
vi. Independent Projects shall register with the Board by providing a brief description of the project and the names and Harvard affiliations of Crew members.
C. Video Blogging
i. All Video Bloggers must be Production Members of HLDOCS and must attend Core Trainings (see IV.A.iii below).
ii. Video Blog Crew structure guidelines shall be the same as those for Annual Projects (see III.A.ii above), though no applications shall be required. In most cases, video blogging should not require a large crew.
iii. Video Bloggers may not use the HLDOCS name or logo in any of their film content, promotional materials, or any public communications, unless the Board determines otherwise (see "Use of Name" below).
iv. Video Bloggers are welcome to attend all HLDOCS trainings and access equipment, so long as they have Production Membership status.
v. Board approval is required before Video Blog content is posted on the HLDOCS website. No approval is necessary for posting on other websites or outlets (e.g. Youtube), provided that Use of Name rules are followed.
vi. Video Bloggers shall register with the Board by providing a brief description of the project and the names and Harvard affiliations of Crew members.
i. HLDOCS shall aim to provide selected Annual Projects with financial support.
ii. If HLDOCS financial resources alone are insufficient, the Business Directors shall work together with the Crew's Producer to apply for external project-based funding. If outside funding options are exhausted, the Crew must bear any outstanding financial liabilities.
iii. No projects using the HLDOCS name shall hire production services. All such production shall be undertaken by Harvard University students, though professionals may serve as advisors.
E. Equipment Utilization
i. Access to HLDOCS equipment shall be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. If scheduling conflicts arise between Annual Projects and other projects, the former will be prioritized. If equipment is not available, students shall be advised to use their own equipment or equipment accessed through other Harvard channels (e.g. Harvard Law School Library).
ii. No equipment owned by the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies shall be used for HLDOCS projects, per departmental rules restricting equipment usage to coursework.
iii. Equipment applications must be filed using the online HLDOCS Equipment Application Form.
iv. Any use of non-HLDOCS equipment for production of the HLDOCS Annual Project(s) must be approved by the Technical Director. Approval can be obtained by email, and the Technical Director shall grant Crews flexibility and discretion so long as basic audio and picture quality are maintained.
v. The HLDOCS Board reserves the right to revoke access to HLDOCS equipment.
i. Crews shall be given maximum control over the content of their projects, subject to applicable statutory limits and University policies.
ii. The HLDOCS Board reserves the right to provide input on content, working collaboratively with the Crew.
iii. In the event that the HLDOCS Board perceives that its mission or reputation is threatened by the content of an Annual Project or other project using the HLDOCS name, the Board reserves the right to exert control over the project.
G. Use of Name
i. All Annual Projects must use the official Harvard Law Documentary Studio logo title card.
ii. Other projects may not use the HLDOCS logo or name in pre-production, production, or distribution, unless the Board has determined otherwise. These projects shall be distributed through the HLDOCS website only with Board approval.
H. Distribution and Ownership
i. Ownership shall comply with University policies.
ii. The Board shall help the Crew understand and negotiate its ownership rights in a manner that best serves its interests.
IV. Training and Curriculum Development
i. HLDOCS trainings shall be timed to meet the needs of Annual and Independent Projects as they move through the production process.
ii. Where possible, trainings shall leverage faculty and alumni expertise.
iii. Core Trainings shall include Ethics and Safety Training and Production Training, and all Crews must attend these trainings. Absences shall be excused only with special alternate arrangements, to be discussed with the Training Director.
B. Trainings for Partner Organizations (e.g. Human Rights Program, Advocates)
i. The Training Director shall lead all trainings conducted for Partner Organizations, or else appoint a substitute.
ii. Trainings shall aim to build the Partner Organization's internal capacity for documentary production.
iii. Partner Organizations can access HLDOCS equipment for such training events without membership requirements. However, if the Partner Organization desires continued equipment access and ongoing training, it must secure Production Membership for the relevant students.
C. Curriculum Development
i. The HLDOCS Board shall work with Harvard faculty to develop film-related course curricula, ranging from theory to production.
ii. The HLDOCS Board shall encourage HLDOCS members to explore with their professors the possibility of submitting film projects for course credit.