Guided by an accomplished editor, explore the dynamics of how to edit documentaries.

Jul 22, 2024 - Jul 26, 2024

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $1495
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 10

Guided by an accomplished editor, examine the practical and creative aspects of editing a documentary. Lessons and exercises will apply to both short and long form documentaries.

A series of editing exercises will help students focus on the development of different abilities in scenarios that reproduce the challenges an editor faces when editing nonfiction. While footage will be provided, students are also welcome to use their own. Case studies from the instructors work will offer a real-world view of the process. The class will involve lecture, group discussion, and daily exercises. The instructor will be available for individualized guidance as needed.

Participants will learn how to analyze documentary footage from an editors point of view, identify and develop the core of the story, explore the importance of rhythm in editing a scene, learn the dynamics of an effective workflow, and examine how to work with different types of scenes including interview, verité, archival, and montage. We will consider strategies for a first assembly, rough cuts, fine cuts, and finishing.  Other topics include working with temp music, archival footage, and graphics.

Along the way, we will explore the nuances of effective collaboration, troubleshooting, and the professional realities of the industry.

Leave with an effective methodology for editing a documentary and a real-world view of the editors role.

Course Requirements

Basic proficiency in a non-linear editing software of the students choice (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, or Avid Media Composer) is required.

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Instructor: Daniel Mooney

Daniel Mooney is an editor and filmmaker whose credits includes feature films, series, and commercials for leading brands.  His work has appeared theatrically and on streaming platforms such as Hulu, Starz, and HBO. Among his credits are several films for director Errol Morris, including Standard Operating Procedure, The Fog of War, and The True Strangeness of the Universe.  He recently edited Blowing Money Fast, a new series for Starz.  His other credits include the features Oil War (Impact), The Torch (IFC), Birth of a Movement (Independent Lens), and the forthcoming Puppy People (Hulu). He has also edited Sex Diaries (HBO/Vox Media), Generation Hustle (HBO Max/Jigsaw), Confessions of the Boston Strangler (ID Films), and Whitey Bulger: Making of a Monster (ID Films). He has edited commercial work for clients such as Bose, NFL, Citibank, the New England Patriots, United Airlines, ESPN, and Quaker Oats.

Daniel has taught motion picture editing for narrative fiction and documentaries at Brandeis University, Massachusetts College of Art, and Emerson College, and he has been a teaching fellow at Harvard University.