Get a real-world guide for shooting and producing your documentary

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This workshop explores all aspects of making a documentary, from concept to final cut. You’ll examine documentary genres and production styles as you consider where your idea best lives and what makes your project unique.

Step-by-step, you’ll gain firsthand experience in the documentary filmmaking process, from research and pre-production strategies to interview techniques and narrative approaches, from audio capture and sound design to multi-camera shoots and file-management. Finally, you’ll explore the process of post-production and discover the power that strong editing brings to the completion of an engaging film.

Throughout the week, we will screen clips from some of the most compelling and intriguing documentaries of our time, analyzing their subjects, cinematography, and storylines to stimulate discussion about how to focus and structure your story.

You’ll follow up by designing a narrative concept and visual style for your project, beginning with a simple one-sentence logline that captures your idea, then crafting a proposal and treatment to help you assess, shape, and refine your story while discovering your own storytelling style and unique visual voice.

This week is for beginning filmmakers, directors, writers, and producers, or anyone interested in the essentials of how to make a short or feature-length documentary.

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Instructor: Brian Kaufman

Brian Kaufman is Executive Video Producer at the Detroit Free Press. Working alone or in small teams, Kaufman’s work spans a broad range, from news-driven video journalism to feature films on social and environmental issues. Since the founding of the Detroit Free Press’ Freep Film Festival in 2014, Kaufman’s work has screened annually in theaters across Metro Detroit and been featured in film festivals nationwide, including DOC NYC. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has awarded Kaufman three Emmy awards and nominated him in the craft category of Nature and Wildlife Cinematography. In 2017, Kaufman received two national Edward R. Murrow awards. He was formerly named Detroit’s Young Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists and his work as a photographer and editor has been recognized by a number of other national organizations.