Guided by an Emmy award-winning Producer and documentary journalist, examine the dynamics of creating, shaping and producing an effective documentary.

Sep 14, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate,
Workshop Fee: $895
Workshop Duration: 12 hours over 6 sessions (Saturdays, 11am-1pm ET + 1:1 instructor time by appointment)
Workshop Location: Online
Class Size: 10

Note: This workshop will be held in a live, online format utilizing the Zoom platform.
Class meets on 6 Saturdays, Sep 14, 21, 28, Oct 5, 12 & 19 from 11am-1pm ET with 1:1 instructor time by appointment.

A good documentary producer focuses on completing a project on time and under budget. But a great documentary producer does so in ways that can transform projects into creative and impactful visual stories. 

This workshop covers the fundamentals of documentary development and production with particular emphasis on the creative aspects of producing. Over the course of this dynamic six-week class, taught by Emmy Award-winning producer and Emmy-nominated writer, Amanda Pisetzner, you will understand and explore Documentary Development and Production including (1) Identifying stories, characters, and securing access (2) synthesizing and framing those stories into compelling pitches (3) managing production logistics, including crewing, budgeting, location scouting, and legal considerations, in service of story and impact (4) tips, tricks, and templates for leading people and teams in ways that empower individuals to bring their best gifts to the project.

Amanda Pisetzner on location, crouched with camera
Instructor Amanda Pisetzner on location.
Amanda Pisetzner has won Emmys for her work on Vice News Tonight
Instructor Amanda Pisetzner has won Emmys for her work on Vice News Tonight.
Amanda Pisetzner & crew on location.
Amanda Pisetzner & crew on location.

While students are welcome to bring their own ideas and projects to the workshop through the class, no prior experience is necessary. Throughout the course, we will work with existing pitches to move ideas through the development and production process to put into immediate practice the tools and approaches we learn together. The result? You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of documentary development and production, poised to embark upon and produce your own stories with your own creative vision.

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Instructor: Amanda Pisetzner

Amanda Pisetzner is an Emmy-award winning Producer, Emmy-nominated writer, and documentary storyteller. She has worked on series and specials for Showtime, HBO, NBC, The Discovery Channel, and others, both domestically and abroad. Amanda has developed, researched, field-produced, directed, story produced, and/or written both hosted and unhosted projects. These span from singular, character-driven profiles to complex, interwoven historical documentary features. She currently works as a Supervising Producer for the Emmy-Award winning series, VICE on Showtime.

Amanda's work is motivated by her desire to bridge communities and cultivate empathy in an increasingly divided world. By centering characters’ stories and helping cultivate safe spaces for authentic interviews, Amanda appreciates documentary work for its magic: its capacity to foster deeper understanding, its ability to provide novel perspectives on shared human experiences, and its potential to inspire action. She also experiences joy and gratitude for work that encourages her to continuously learn more about the world and its people. Her favorite stories are ones that embody the complexities and nuances of people, their motivations for living, and the resilience of the human spirit.