Be guided by an award-winning producer, director and writer through the creation of a documentary film.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: This class will be held in an online format using the Zoom platform (View Class Schedule Below)

There’s never been a more exciting time for documentaries. At the heart of every compelling documentary, long or short, is a great idea. Bring yours to life!

This workshops explores all aspects of beginning, shaping and making a documentary. You’ll examine documentary genres and styles as you consider where your idea best lives and what makes your project unique. Step-by-step, you’ll learn how documentaries are written, beginning with a simple one-sentence logline that captures your idea, then learn how to craft an outline/structure for your documentary that helps assess, shape, and refine your story while discovering your own storytelling style.

You’ll get a real world view on the essentials of how to develop, budget and fund your project. We’ll look at how to best research and plan your material, understand interview strategies and tips, and explore documentary funding and distribution fundamentals to help you get your project off the ground.

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

Workshop your project’s elements and gain knowledge under Heather’s guidance and expertise.  This award-winning director, two-time Sundance-winning executive producer and executive producer of the Oscar® nominated documentary, Super Size Me, will share her own war stories and successes during the week that concludes with your own in-class pitch.  

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 and features one-on-one time with Heather to advise on any aspect of your documentary film. 

Class sessions will begin daily at 10:00 a.m. EDT. There will be a one hour lunch break from 12:30-1:30. We will then schedule out-of-class work or viewing time until 3:30, then resume and wrap the day by 5:00 p.m. EDT.  Additionally, throughout the week you will have the opportunity for one-on-one discussion with Heather to further develop your project.

This course will be delivered via a combination of live interactive online classes, out-of-class film viewing, lectures/presentations, and one-on-one individual sessions.

The instructor may recommend films to watch at your location that might incur streaming costs of $10-15.

Image Credits:  Owen Weaver,  Christine Moriello

Share This

Instructor: Heather Winters

Heather Winters is an award-winning American film producer, director, writer and 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. Heather's films 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), Jim Killeen's Google Me, and her directorial debut, TWO: THE STORY OF ROMAN & NYRO, about legendary songwriter and music producer Desmond Child's journey to parenthood. Television credits include assistant director on MTV's REAL WORLD and writer, production staff, and assistant to the producer's credits on over 260 half-hour episodes of the network children's animated series THUNDERCATS, SILVERHAWKS, and THE COMIC STRIP for the legendary animation production company Rankin/Bass. As an Executive Producer and Director of Production for Sony Corporation, Heather oversaw all productions and client management for Sony's Studio One. As a Creative Director, Producer, Director and Writer, Heather has created more than 50 commercials and branded entertainment projects for Fortune 500, 100 and 50 companies including SONY, VIACOM, HBO, TIME WARNER, PARAMOUNT, BLOCKBUSTER, CADILLAC, and GE.