Guided by an Emmy-winning filmmaker, examine the unique dynamics of writing a non-fiction script.
Mar 2, 2024 - Apr 6, 2024
Workshop Fee: $895
Workshop Duration: 12 hours over 6 sessions (Saturdays, 11am-1pm ET + 1:1 Instructor time)
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, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 & Apr 6 from 11am-1pm ET with + 1:1 Instructor time by appointment.
Think of your favorite documentaries. Can you tell what they have in common? More than likely, their magic is folded into the fabric of their story. Whether making a short-form or long-form documentary, great writers and filmmakers know that story is the backbone of gripping non-fiction projects, and knowing how to write that story—including the writing that comes before the writing—is vital to success.
Over the course of this dynamic six-week class, taught by Emmy Award-winning producer Amanda Pisetzner, you will understand the fundamentals of the Non-Fiction Script Writing process from start to finish, including: (1) exploring story formats and act structures, (2) researching and identifying sources and characters, (3) preparing for and conducting interviews, (4) leveraging third party footage and other sound-sources, and (5) weaving everything together in service of both art and impact.
By the end of this course, you will learn how to
- Craft a compelling angle/arc that will serve as the through line for your final product.
- Prepare for and conduct dynamic, vulnerable, and generative interviews that will infuse your story with powerful, first-person insight and experience.
- Practice ethical scripting when selecting and utilizing interview soundbites.
- Discover the possibilities of using third-party materials and sounds to augment your scriptwriting, and learn how to identify, collect, and work with those materials.
- Become comfortable putting together a multi-source script to produce a simple, yet powerful story.
While you are welcome to workshop your own script if you have one in progress, you will also have the opportunity to work with pre-existing materials and, in doing so, will recognize how the writer approaches the story often results in wildly different final products. This is where you will bring your own creativity to the fore. The result? You will gain confidence moving through production from the initial story selection to the cultivation of a seamless script, ready for an editor.
The workshop consists of weekly interactive lectures and discussions, at-home exercises, and 1:1 virtual office hours.
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.