Often, cinematographers and editors practice versions of storytelling that are rooted in different perspectives.  Whether you’re an independent filmmaker, or on a gig as a cameraperson, sound recordist, or director/producer, this course provides a deeper understanding of how storytelling occurs in the edit room, and how being able to think like an editor can improve your recording in the field.

The week starts with a primer on the craft of storytelling, as it unfolds in the edit room, and how that perspective can be used to take a fresh look at your next shooting effort. The following days will be spent shooting in the field with the instructor, whose experience includes producing, series producing, directing, editing, writing, and shooting on independent cinema verite films, national television documentaries, and public service ads and shorts. We will film a variety of documentary styles and subjects in the community; scenes will include cinema verite, interviews, atmospheric footage, and creative storytelling approaches to coverage and establishing the world of the story.  These scenes will be selected ahead by the instructor, but you are welcome to discuss finding your own in advance of class, if you desire.  The week concludes with editing your footage.  We will discuss, in detail, the opportunities to be found in your material, as well as constructive thoughts for your future adventures in the field. 

Quality of composition and sound will be identified in the above contexts, but technical skills are not the focus of this class, except to note specific ways in which the quality interfered with the storytelling or enhanced the storytelling.  We will also discuss instances when being true to the story sometimes involves sacrificing the aesthetics of a particular shot / sound.

You are invited and welcome to bring your own raw footage or edited pieces for screening and discussion, but are not required to do so.  This is an intensive class, but also a supportive place to grow. 

Students can continue their work in the fall session of Storytelling in the Edit Room.


Dana Rae Warren

Dana Rae Warren is a filmmaker, teacher, and consultant with 25 years in the national television documentary and independent film worlds. She enjoys and has developed particular expertise shaping stories in the edit room. Her work includes: Producer Writer on the Peabody Award-winning and twice Emmy-nominated Turner Broadcasting series Moon Shot; Producer Writer Director on multiple episodes for the PBS NOVA Science Now series, including profiles on MacArthur Awardee Edith Widder and National Medal of Science Awardee Lonnie Thompson, as well as on animal intelligence and on the link between exploring space and the deep sea; ongoing award-winning public service such as the tobacco-free campaign, Quit For Your Kids; and Great Expectations, an education series, which aired on The Sundance Channel, won an Emmy and was invited to present at Austin’s SXSW Education Conference.

Dana Rae also works as a Series Supervising Producer for television and Story Consultant, Script Consultant, and Consulting Producer for television and independent feature projects.  Examples include the internationally shot weekly History Channel series Deep Sea Detectives (Series Supervising Producer); History’s 13-part series Tougher in Alaska (Series Consulting Producer and Episode Writer); NOVA’s Hubble’s Amazing Rescue (Script Consultant); and independent films such as Oliver Wilkins Rabbit Hole, premiering at the Camden International Film Festival, the Qatari film Once Upon a Time I Was, and the Egyptian film Words of Witness (Consulting Producer), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival

For her independent films, Dana Rae often chronicles stories that unfold over long periods, including Lou of Betty & Lou (ten years in the life of a 93-year-old), Global Citizen, a small town Maine girl grows into international humanitarian worker (starting in Russia at age 14 and continuing through Afghanistan and Kosovo in the 1990s, and now the Middle East at age 39); Prisoner of the Past, about a Lewiston area Jewish-American WWII POW returning to the site of his capture; Her Game, a year in the life a college women's basketball team (selected for IFP's Independent Feature Film Market); and Alleluia Junction: A Community Choir Journeys from Maine to Russia. 

Teaching, collaborating, and consulting, with both professionals and laypeople, is one of Dana Rae’s greatest pleasures. She has worked with both adults and children of all ages for schools and organizations such as The Sundance Institute's program at the International Film & Television School in Cuba, multiple K-12 schools, the international school Maine Media Workshops, University of Southern Maine, University of Rhode Island, and Bates College, as well as corporate & federal entities.

She was previously a Governor’s Appointee to the Maine Film Commission under two governors, and served on the Board of the Camden International Film Festival. Dana Rae graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and, before filmmaking, worked in the social service field, including group homes for kids, and a hotline for women facing violence.


Course Dates

Sep 3 to Sep 9



Class Size


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