Create a short documentary under the tutelage of a National Geographic cameraman and filmmaker in Buenos Aires.

Mar 12, 2024 - Mar 25, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate,
Workshop Fee: $3920 (Includes 13 nights in a studio apartment and continental breakfast)
Workshop Location: Travel workshop
Class Size: 6

A Cinewright workshop is an intensive learning experience where you will develop and expand your talents as a filmmaker through the creation of your short documentary from original concept to finished piece. You’ll learn the diverse skill sets necessary to tell your story. From cinematography to direction, sound and picture editing to writing, you will be hand led through the milestones of the filmmaking process under the tutelage of Tom Donohue.

Our destination is Buenos Aires a visually arresting city that feels more like Europe than South America. The sultry nights however during a North American freeze, place the city deep within the southern continent. Our first week is both about acclimating to the “Paris of South America” and capturing the story you want to tell. You’ll be identifying your characters and capturing their lives through your lens. Filming in Buenos Aires offers endless visual rewards as well as challenges. Learning to work comfortably in a foreign country is a necessary talent for a documentarian. Spanish language skills are helpful but not necessary. Tom speaks fluent Spanish and has enjoyed living in Buenos Aires for the past four years. He’ll personally lead you through his adopted city.

Creating a documentary from scratch is experiential learning at its best. You’ll have a complete overview of the filmmaking process by the workshop’s end. Learning what works or doesn’t comes through practice. During the workshop, you’ll take chances that the professional world would never permit. By the mid-point of our workshop, with the principal filming a wrap, you’ll be ready to structure and create your story in the editing room. Those new to digital editing will learn the basics that will prove key to a future professional life. A rudimentary knowledge of editing is vital to understanding the needs of a documentary production. Cinematographers, directors, writers, or producers would benefit by having a working knowledge of the editing process. This workshop is also ideal for the still photographer who wants to open up to the video capabilities of their still camera.


The primary goal of a Cinewright workshop is to be proficient with your own equipment. With that in mind, students bring their own cameras and laptops.  Any camera that you plan to work on in the future will do, even an iPhone. Assistance is available beforehand for students to equip themselves for the workshop.

We edit using Adobe Premiere Pro software which is both Apple and PC-based. This is an important editing platform that is ubiquitous in the professional world. A trial version is free to download during the week of our workshop or can be purchased monthly for $20. Students should bring an SSD Hard Drive with at least a terabyte of free space.


Lodging, as well as continental breakfast each morning, is included with the workshop’s tuition. The first students to register have the option of a private room in one of two beautiful three-bedroom, 1880s apartments or finding nearby lodging on Airbnb. The apartments are ideally located on the Plaza Dorrego, a lovely park in the heart of the original city footprint. Each apartment has a one bedroom with en-suite bathroom and the other two rooms share a bathroom. These are available to those who register first. Students who prefer to be apart after class may elect to find their own private studio apartments with an abundance of offerings on Airbnb. Tom can help in choosing and students will be given a budget of $650 to work to offset the rental of 13 nights. Pictures are available at apartment for first three students.

Lunch and dinner are not included with the tuition but the strength of the US dollar vis-à-vis the Argentine peso makes Buenos Aires one of the “World’s Top Travel Bargains”. You can easily budget $25 US dollars a day for eating out at most of the restaurants this cosmopolitan city offers. 

Flights are not included in the tuition. If you purchase in advance, you may find a flight for as low as $800 USD from major US hubs to Buenos Aires. 

For more information visit or contact Tom directly at [email protected]

Payments & Registration

At the time of registration, Maine Media will collect a $600 deposit. Further communication and payment are handled directly with Tom through [email protected].

Other Maine Media offerings with Tom Donohue:

Image Credits:  Sander Crombach, Sasha Stories, Matias Wong

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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.