Develop your technical skills and creative voice while creating a compelling documentary.

The Four-Week Documentary Film School provides an opportunity for students to research, produce, shoot and edit an original documentary under the guidance and instruction of a professional filmmaker. Students will learn to use High Definition SLR cameras along with traditional professional camcorders, sound and lighting equipment, and non-linear editing software to produce a professional quality short film with a clear and compelling story line. Previous class films have been aired on PBS and invited to film festivals.

This “hands-on” workshop concentrates on defining and developing each student's potential as a documentary filmmaker. Students work both in the classroom and in the field to gain the technical and creative skills they need to envision, produce, shoot, and edit an original film. Emphasis is placed on research, development and interviewing techniques prior to shooting as well as pacing and story structure during postproduction. In addition, historical and contemporary documentaries are screened and discussed to inspire students to explore their own style and voice.

Students work in teams to develop short, manageable projects that they will shoot and edit for screening and review by the class. During the creative process, each student is challenged to wear the multiple hats of a filmmaker.  Our small class format fosters creative collaboration and allows for personalized consultation with the instructor.

Beautiful mid-coast Maine is the backdrop for our work. Subject matter can come from local events and a host of interesting local characters. Teams will receive professional guidance as they take their project from concept and production, through the art of the edit, to the final digital output. All work is reviewed and critiqued, and in the end, students take away at least one, possibly more, collaborative documentary pieces.


“This was a golden opportunity. I would never have had such access to such equipment and mentoring.” Murat Jones-Gungar, Web Designer United Nations, Denmark

“I can’t say enough about the instructor. He explained, challenged, and inspired. I’ll be drawing on this experience for a long time.” Professor Greg Shaya, Chair of International Relations College of Wooster, Ohio

“Amazing! My knowledge and love of film grew. Plus I still show my documentary at job interviews.” Tony Mullane, Filmmaker Bar Harbor, Maine


Tom Donohue

     Tom Donohue is an EMMY-nominated filmmaker with more than 20 years of experience creating broadcast documentaries for clients such as National Geographic Television, The Discovery Channel, and PBS, as well as for a host of NGOs. His assignments have taken him from the war-torn streets of Afghanistan to Central American rainforests in search of jaguars. Tom’s approach to filmmaking is holistic: He produces, shoots, writes and edits his own films. Not only does this method provide an intimacy with the subject, but each step of the filmmaking process informs and builds upon the others. Tom splits his time between Washington, DC and Montreal, Canada. He speaks fluent French and Spanish and has a working use of Italian and Thai. Tom has a passion for sailing, Argentine tango and exploring different cultures. This is his tenth year teaching at the Maine Media Workshops.


Course Dates

Jul 24 to Aug 20



Class Size


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