Get the real world view from an accomplished, award-winning documentary producer

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Make it happen – this is the documentary producer’s mantra! The devil is in the details and as a documentary producer you are part detective, psychologist, negotiator and prizefighter! As a documentary producer you are responsible for executing the vision, managing a director’s dreams while dealing with the reality of what’s actually possible, all the while creating a space for other people to do what they do well.

This week is for beginning filmmakers, directors, writers or producers and anyone who wants to understand the A to Z dynamics of producing a short and feature documentary.

You will learn the fundamentals of development, research, loglines, synopses, treatments, interviewing, key production elements, budgeting, pitching, and identifying funding resources and distribution opportunities for your project. Learn how to write a compelling and bulletproof logline or synopsis that you can take with you anywhere. Compose an elevator pitch about your project that sings and sells your uniqueness. Examine and identify funding resources and opportunities while exploring distribution options.

Participants will workshop their projects in a warm and friendly environment, Workshop topics cover the history of the documentary, analyzing trailers and clips, understanding documentary genres and styles, and teasing out what makes your project special.

You may bring in a documentary idea at any stage to workshop in the class. Gain knowledge with Heather’s guidance and expertise and workshop your project’s elements. Heather will share her own producing war stories and successes during the week that concludes with your own in-class pitch.

Image Credits:  Owen Weaver,  Christine Moriello

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Instructor: Heather Winters

Heather Winters is a film producer, director and writer and a two-time Sundance-winning executive producer. Heather executive produced Morgan Spurlock's Academy Award® nominated and Sundance-winning documentary, Super Size Me, and Anthony Haney-Jardine's Sundance-winning dramatic feature, Anywhere, U.S.A.  Her other producing credits include Michelle Memran's The Rest I Make Up (Best Movies of 2018, The New Yorker), AJ Schnack's, Convention, (IFC/Sundance Selects), Class Act (Morgan Spurlock Presents), and Jim Killeen's Google Me. In 2013, she made her directorial debut with TWO: The Story of Roman & Nyro, about legendary songwriter and music producer Desmond Child's journey to parenthood. Television credits include ThunderCats, Silverhawks, The Comic Strip, and MTV's Real World. Heather is a film professor at Sarah Lawrence College where she teaches producing, development and pitching for film and TV, and documentary filmmaking. She is the founder of White Dock and Studio on Hudson production companies.