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

There are no available registration dates at this time.

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 a visual journalist and wilderness photographer based in the Great Lakes region. As Executive Video Producer at the Detroit Free Press, Kaufman bridges the gap between video journalism and documentary film. His work has been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize, three National Emmy Awards and a nomination in the craft category of Nature and Wildlife Cinematography. Kaufman’s film “Coldwater Kitchen,” which premiered at DOC NYC, won a James Beard Media Award in 2023. The film “12th and Clairmont,” which Kaufman directed and edited, was called “illuminating and innovatively crafted” by Variety Magazine. Passionate about teaching, Kaufman has coached visual storytelling workshops throughout the country and has been instrumental in spreading the craft of video journalism across the newspaper industry.