“14 students and three instructors produced a documentary that premiered at Berlin Critics’ Week…”


“…a surprisingly cohesive, omniscient document of an American phenomenon.”

(Above) Members of FTVM 401 (Fall, 2016) - including instructors, Terri Sarris (middle, far left), Markus Nornes (top, far right), and Kazuhiro Soda (bottom, far left). 

In his May 11, 2018, article The Big House, Theo Schear of Film Threat, writes, "[The film is] a two-hour observational documentary that examines the stadium and its cacophonous, banal, and ceremonial traditions through an army of lenses. [...] What separates The Big House from most films in the canon of Direct Cinema is the scope with which [the filmmakers] could capture a single event. With 17 autonomous cameras, they simultaneously covered every obvious angle and then more, delivering intentionally diverse visions of the same subject. [...] Kazuhiro Soda, Documentary Filmmaker and Toyota Visiting Professor, referred to the [resulting film] as 'Cubist Cinema,' a collage of interlocking viewpoints."

In addition to his discussion of the film and its creation, Shear includes Kazuhiro Soda's 10 Commandements of Observational Filmmaking and FTVM Honors Student Vesal Stoakley's (FTVM '18) take on of some of the Direct Cinema Practices he learned from The Big House -- and then later integrated into his honors thesis screenplay Shelter In Place

The Big House premiered at Berlin Critics’ Week in February and will be theatrically released in Japan in June. 

To access Theo Shear's full article, please click here