Tom Donohue is an EMMY-nominated producer/cameraman/editor and writer. He is co-principal of Laughing Dog Productions, a documentary production company that produces broadcast programming for National Geographic Television and The Discovery Channel as well as advocacy pieces for various NGOs. His assignments have taken him from the war torn streets of Afghanistan to the rainforests of Central America in search of jaguars. In addition to English, Tom speaks French, Italian, Spanish and Thai. This is his tenth summer teaching at the workshops.
Four-Week Documentary Film School concentrates on defining and developing each student's potential as a documentary filmmaker. The course explores historical and contemporary work, production requirements, and today's technology for independent documentary filmmaking. A wide range of programming, formats, structures, styles and documentary films from throughout the world are discussed and screened.
Students are encouraged to develop a style and a voice, research and produce original documentary work that tells compelling stories.
The class consists of lectures, screenings, demonstrations of equipment and production methods, and an introduction to the post production process. Cinematography, lighting, sound recording, research and development and interview techniques are covered. A shooting schedule, actualities and B-roll, story assembly, script development, and the critical importance of sound are all examined in this intensive, in-depth workshop.
Regular exercises are followed by screenings and critiques of students' dailies. Students work in teams proposing short, manageable documentary projects which they shoot and edit digitally for screening and review by the class. Subject matter can come from local issues and events, artists and a host of interesting local characters.
All work is reviewed and critiqued, and in the end, students take away at least one, possibly more, collaborative documentary pieces.