Produce a compelling documentary in a creative environment. Explore your own style and get inspired!
2018 Registration Dates for this course have passed. Check back in January for 2019 Dates. Also, check out our Film Program Page for a full list of Filmmaking Courses!
The Four-Week Documentary Film School provides an opportunity for students to research, produce, shoot and edit an original documentary film under the guidance and instruction of a professional filmmaker. This workshop is “hands-on.” Students learn by facing the challenges and obstacles inherent in any film production. In-field exercises compliment classroom lectures as students develop the necessary technical and creative skills. Class screenings of current documentaries, including the instructor’s own work, help to demystify the art of assembling a story.
The Film School welcome students whose only experience is a desire to document. But most students do come with at least some experience shooting video or a basic knowledge of video editing. The first week is dedicated to learning the fundamentals of camera operation, audio recording and interviewing techniques as the class prepares for its first assignment. Together the class travels to Monhegan Island, a place renowned for inspiring generations of artists. Here, each student is challenged to wear the multiple hats of a filmmaker as they capture enough footage to create a short video. The second week is devoted to editing this material into a compelling short film. By the end of the second week, students will be proficient with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.
Half-way through the course, students are prepared to tackle a documentary subject in greater depth. The third week starts with students proposing a documentary idea to the class and forming working partnerships. Mid-coast Maine is a treasure trove of diverse themes and colorful local characters. Teams will receive professional guidance as they take their project from concept and production, through the intensive fourth week of editing, to the final digital output.
The two documentary assignments are screened in front of the entire school. Upon leaving Maine Media Workshops, students will have working experience in each phase of documentary production. This is a strong formation for undertaking a future idea.
Previous class films have been aired on PBS and invited to film festivals.
Included in the tuition is a ferry trip and overnight stay at Monhegan Island, as well as an All-Access pass to Camden International Film Festival!
Image Credits: Alexis Mpaka, Amanda Piela, Header: Aidan Bliss
Instructor: Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue is an EMMY-nominated filmmaker with over 30 years of experience in filmmaking including creating broadcast documentaries for such clients as National Geographic Television, The Discovery Channel, and PBS. 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 complements the others.