In the argument for our proposal, we wanted to take an angle that is easy enough for us to make a clear argument, since service dogs is typically a wide-supported topic. We wanted to involve most of our group members’ stakeholders to include each of our sources so that our argument covered all aspects of the topic. This way, the argument would be solid. The overall argument that we decided to portray is that students on campus should take on the responsibility of training a service dog to expand the industry. This argument is able to connect to all of our stakeholders, which were: the disabled, the dogs, the trainers, and society (UK campus).
We determined that we could argue that the students training the dogs would get a lot out of the program. For one, because it gives students a new sense of independence and responsibility while transitioning into college life. Some may say this is impractical to do because it would affect the students’ academic success, especially if this was during their first semester. They think it would take away from their studies. Also, some people argue that the dogs keep students away from social opportunities, especially because students who live in a dorm must live by themselves for the duration of the semester. In the documentary, we will argue that the service dogs are able to follow the students anywhere, so it doesn’t keep them from socializing. It also should not inhibit their studies because this program is meant for students to learn and experience the responsibility placed upon them while caring for another being. If anything, students should be able to learn how to balance an active college life better while training a service dog.
Another great impact that training a service dog has on an individual is that the students are better able to understand the life of a disabled person. After having these dogs by their sides all day, they learn the companionship that the dogs and owners have. They also are able to feel better knowing that the dog they’ve trained is going to someone in order to help them carry out their lives every day, which is very rewarding for a college student. One of our sources, an interview of a dog trainer, could help explain this.
The students would also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are impacting the dogs as well. The service dog industry prolongs the dogs’ lives, and can make their breed a healthier kind. Also, the students would be promoting the 4 Paws for Ability organization, which would enable the organization to expand. A major problem with this industry is that not every person with a disability can receive a dog due to financial issues and the number of dogs available. Supporting and being a part of this industry could help expand it to help more people.
The service dogs on campus are also a source of stress relief. Most dogs have a time every so often to interact, and students are allowed to play with them during this time. In one of our sources, service puppies were actually used on a college campus to relieve stress prior to final exams. Also in another source, it was shown that playing with dogs helped psychiatric patients more than music and art did. We could even do a survey aimed towards students to gauge how the service dogs on campus make them feel, and if petting one can easily make their day better. Some may say that the dogs are distracting to the students in classes, but this actually prepares them for the real world. In some situations, there might be places they go where service dogs are prevalent, and it would be important for them to easily be able to accept them into society.
Since the service dogs are a prevalent topic here on campus, I feel as if this is a great argument to cover. There are some small arguments that can be made against the topic, but I don’t feel as if any of them can outweigh the positive impacts of service dog training on college campuses. This will be great for us, since our documentary will be easily persuasive of our stance on the topic.
With the topic of guide dogs, the aim of our documentary should be to appeal to the audience’s emotion while also trying to justify the legitimacy behind training a guide dog with one's free time. With the opening scene, we are planning on using a long shot of a dog playing in the yard with some sweet background music and a voiceover giving the history of guide dogs and what their purpose is. This would be a great scene to include facts about guide dogs such as how many students are now training a dog on campus, and how many people use guide dogs in their everyday life.
After the opening scene, it could be effective to jump right into an interview with a student who is in the process of training a guide dog. There are many questions we can use and get the trainer to elaborate on their experience. Possible questions could be: What inspired you to train a guide dog? What has your experience been like so far? Would you recommend everyone to go out and train a guide dog? This can be an account of someone who is actually in the process of training these dogs. Ideally, this person will have great things to say about guide dogs and grab the initial interest of the audience to look into training a guide dog of themselves.
This interview can lead us into our next plan for the project. Every other week there is a gathering of guide dogs where trainers get together and let the dogs interact with each other. Hopefully we can have about fifteen to forty-five seconds of good action footage of the trainers getting together and letting the dogs have fun. This playful spirit will provoke an emotional reaction among the audience and latch them to the free spirits of these dogs. This would be another good segment to follow with an interview.
After the play time scene, this interview can be more about the dog. The goal of these questions should be to personify the dog so that the audience is tricked into thinking the dog has human like emotions. We can ask questions such as: Has the dog matured? What does it behave like? Have you grown an attachment to this dog? Here the trainer will most likely have good things to say and a human like bond is developed between the trainers.
After this, we are playing to have the classic documentary shot of the main character, (Jacob Royster), having a scene to himself slowly walking around with a dog and giving a dramatic monologue of all the great things a guide dog can do. Here will be the meat of the argument where we have full control of what we want to say and try and convince the audience about.
If we can get approval from the organization, we feel like it would be a great idea to almost wrap the document up with an interview of someone whose life has actually been affected by a guide dog. Obviously this is an area that we need to be very delicate as we do not want to make this person feel offended. We would just like to ask questions about how the dog has affected their life and if it has always been a best friend to them. This gives a realistic view to the real impact of dogs. With proper execution, this could be the most powerful part of our documentary.
After this part of the documentary we will lead into the conclusion. In this part of the documentary we can have another scene like that of the opening with fitting music and vintage footage of dogs playing with each other. There can be a voice over wrapping everything up for the final argument. Here we can use the emotional rhetoric at hand to leave the audience convinced to get a dog and train it at some point in their lives. We can address the counterarguments of stress and responsibility with valid points about why its worth the efforts. Lastly we can give a credit to all the sources that we used to build the documentary.
Our argument is that students on campus should take on the responsibility of training a service dog to expand this industry. The main ways we will persuade our audience to listen to us and follow our advice is with pathos-based and logical argumentation. These appeals are the best use of our time because to convince a person to take action, they have to be convinced that they should and that it is possible. The goal of the pathos appeals will be to convince people that they should help this organization and that the best way to do this is by raising a service dog. The logical part of this argument will help to convince that raising a service dog is both possible, and that it will bring benefits to the one who is raising the puppy. Both of these will make the best possible appeal to convince people to adopt and raise a service dog.
One appeal in pathos will be the appeal to everyone’s innate human desire to help others in need, by showing or interviewing people who need a service dog and do not have one, or by interviewing people who do have services dogs. This will convince the viewers that these people need a service dog because our research shows that everyone who has a service dog gains from the experience, especially if they have a need for support that can be filled by a service dog. Since both of these involve an interview with a person who has a close relationship with topic, and as none of our group members are closely related to this topic, an interview is ideal for gaining a perspective that we lack. This interview (or interviews) could also prove in a concrete way the possibility of raising a service animal on campus, for whomever we interview will be related to the paws on campus program; so they will be able to speak about the mechanics of raising a service puppy on campus.
This can also be a logical argument, because society supports all people in some way, and service dogs can transform people allow people to become productive members of society. This is desirable for all involved, as meaningful work increases quality of life, as well as giving back to the community. To best support this point within the framework of a documentary, we could have a voiceover (to explain our points and to give statistics that support our statements) over visuals of people with service dogs being active, which prove the main point of our argumentation by providing a concrete example, since it is difficult for viewers to connect with and fully engage with abstracted numbers.
While it is important to have the viewer acknowledge the importance of our organization, this is not the end goal. The end goal is to have the viewer of the documentary adopt and raise a service dog. Two requirements for this to be a successful call to action is to convince the viewer there is a problem (which is covered above) and the second is to convince the viewer that the best way to help 4 Paws for Ability that the best way to help is to raise a service dog. One way to go about this is to offer more information about our organization. Certainly donations help any organization, but the way 4 Paws distributes service dogs is by having each family in need raise money. The only other ways major ways to help a non-profit are to volunteer time and to raise awareness, both of which raising a service puppy (which as a result is very visible and time intensive). This argument will be presented in a similar way to the argument in the previous paragraph for the same reasons.
Finally, we will close by demonstrating the benefits that service dog raisers gain through raising their puppy. One obvious way to prove this is by displaying clips of the puppy gatherings. This will naturally relax the viewer, which we will eventually take advantage of by pointing this effect to the viewer after a time, which as a personal example will hit harder home.
Plan Going Forward Edit
Our group progress seems to be going well so far. We have all come together to formulate a plan on what we’ve agreed to do in our own time. So far, our group has met a few times to decide what we should get done and how we would like to do it. Now, as we get closer to the due date, we must start to get more productive things done. The overall plan of our group for the next month or so is to get as good of a grade physically possible. To do this we have broken the task down into a few different sections.
First, we have decided to schedule some interviews with people associated with the 4 paws program. This would mean trying to interview some of the students who help to train the dogs, an interview with a representative of 4paws who knows the program well, and, if possible, getting to meet a person with a disability who has received a service dog to aid them. We will ask them questions about how having a service dogs has affected their life and what they think about the program. We are trying to get them to state the positive and negative points about having a service dog so that we can prove our argument.
Our next step in the plan is to get all of our typical documentary film shots. We have to gather a bunch of clips during the interviews, take videos on campus, and download some clips from the internet. This will allow us to make sure our documentary has all the factors of some professional documentaries like we have seen. We would like our documentary to have the highest quality possible. We have looked on YouTube for tutorials that show us how to make professional shots and how to edit a great video. The hardest videos we will have to record will be the interviews because on the angles involved. We will take some clips about service dogs from 3rd party sources and use them in our video to help us show how widespread this program is and what others think about it.
As with all good documentaries, we need a good narrator to help guide the audience along the video and be the face of the group. Many documentaries often have celebrities, like Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks, be the voices for their videos. They are often chosen for how their mellow and smooth voices stick with the audience better and get them more in tune with what is happening in the video. We definitely do not have Morgan Freeman for this project but the next best thing we do have is Jacob. He will be the voice and face of our documentary and will most likely lead the interviews. He will have to make sure that he has everything he is going to say planned out so that we can sound as professional as possible.
After all the interviews and clips have been recorded and gathered together, we will then have to go edit them at the hub in the library. Dakota and Jacob said that they would be able to complete the editing needs for our group project for the rough draft and then also for the final. The point of editing is to make sure everything in the documentary runs together smoothly. Trying to put together all of our video clips plus the interviews and the narration will be the main challenge of editing the documentary. We will have a lot of video time plus we will have pictures and text added into the mix as well as music.
In the end, our group is going to have worked hard to argue our points about the 4 Paws Service Dog program. Our group has plenty of information at our disposal so this shouldn't be too challenging for us. We have signed a contract saying that we would work to get things done and I believe we will.
Visual and Sound Elements Edit
Visual and sound elements are important in how exactly that a topic is perceived. Because the topic of service dogs is a particularly light one, bright color and bubbly (yet professional) voice-overs and text. There is also, though room for a contrast between these themes and the more serious themes of the people with disabilities. For example, if in one of the interviews, an anecdote is told, there is certainly room for more serious VO’s and texts. That is, with more neutral colors, as well as a more serious tone of our narrator.
For particular topics, “empty” footage will be used. That is footage that doesn’t really contain anything too important to the documentary, but rather some unrelated images. Of course, these images will not be too off topic (they simply won’t contain anything too distracting). For example, while setting up the premise for an interview (in a transition), footage of puppies playing may be used, since the documentary is focused on service dogs directly. The puppies obviously reference the idea that the being made, yet they do offer some relief from some possibly difficult topics.
Perhaps the most important factor is one that is harmful to all the following: the camera. The camera that is used to film each scene and interview will be deterministic of the quality of the video. As such, only one type of camera will be used (ideally), and all post-production will be performed on high-power machines, whose purpose is solely to produce high quality videos. The software to be used is likely to be Adobe Premier Pro, and the video will likely be rendered in the 1080 to 4k range, in AVI format. The editing that is completed will be performed in such a way that any particular interview can be made to seem (if it already isn't) that it is in favor of the argument being made. Recording of voice-over narration will be done on a professional-quality microphone (likely the Blue Yeti) or some similar product.
Although a substantial amount of audio editing will be done within Premier, any bulk or specific editing can be performed using Logic Pro X. Sound booths will be used for optimal noise reduction and sound isolation, with minimal reverberation. Additionally, set-up shots will be used to establish a setting for each interview. These will be a wide-angle shot of the area around which an interview will take place. For example, the company’s sign or branding (if it is a business) or the road-facing side of the institution or residence. In the interviews performed by various group members, each subject of will be asked a specific list of interview questions, including questions that ask for information about the dog, how the dog is to be used, and how the dog was trained. During this time, the camera will be facing the person being interviewed and not the person performing the interview. In post, it is likely that voice-over narration will be interested to replace the footage of the interviewer’s voice.
Likely, situational music still be played behind voice-overs and transitions, possibly including “April Showers” by Proleter for less serious transition, and miscellaneous heavier music otherwise. In more descriptive sections, non-distracting music will be played in order to evoke a more full and professional tone. Bright and vibrant lighting situations will be ideal to setting the positive tone surrounding the service dogs. These will likely include outside scenes, with natural lighting and shadows. The natural scenes will also play a critical role in making the trainers and service animals feel like real people and real animals. Though they may be minimized, on-screen text will be used to display necessary information that may not be important or appropriate to say aloud. For example, an interviewee’s name and related information, as this information isn't entirely necessary, yet it still provides some insight into each particular case. Of course, at the end of the documentary will be a list of each member of the group, their respective roles, and names and information about all the people who were interviewed. Following these will be a list of sources used, along with a citation for each of these.
Preliminary Bibliography Edit
"Service Dogs." 4Paws for Ability. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://4pawsforability.org/>.
-This is 4Paws main website. It has a lot of information on the program and how it helps. It also shows who it affects and has many helpful articles to refer to.
"Assistance Dogs International." : : Setting Standards for the Assistance Dog Industry since 1987. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2015. <http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/>.
-This is the program that oversees all service dog training. It shows a bunch of information on what training service dogs go through.
-This video can be used to add clips to our documentary. It shows some positive sides of what services dogs do to help people and its on national news.
- This is where we will refer to the people who let us interview them. We will write the major points of what they discussed and their information.**
- We have scheduled interviews with students who help to train these service dogs. They will provide information on how they train the dogs, what the challenges are, and what their views are of the program.
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