Create a nature documentary while sea kayaking The Maine Island Trail.
There are no available registration dates at this time.
Film Experience Levels: All
This workshop is open to all students interested in filmmaking in the great outdoors. It is offered in cooperation with the American University’s Center for Environment Filmmaking.
First Week is on-location in Maine. Includes all necessary sea-kayaking and camping gear along with food for the week. We camp for four nights split with a two nights’ stay at the Maine Island Lodge.
Second Week is an on-line editing workshop from the comfort of your own home. A Zoom classroom is a highly efficient way to learn the art of editing using your own footage to create a documentary ideal for your portfolio.
At the heart of the expedition are two nights at the Maine Island Lodge. This is our off-the-grid classroom, built specifically for workshops like ours. It is a comfortable respite at the middle of a camping experience: soft beds, warm showers, 5&1/2 bathrooms, etc. The rooms are double occupancy, shared with a fellow students. The option of continued single tent camping is still available with access to the lodge’s amenities.
Our sea kayaking workshop is truly an immersive educational experience; you may get wet, but you’ll learn how to keep your camera equipment and camping gear dry. Join filmmaker Tom Donohue and registered Maine Kayaking guide Josh Lipkowitz for an educational adventure along the Maine Island Trail. The trail is on the bucket list of many a kayaker and there is no better time to experience it than mid-August when the waters are at their warmest and the air cool.
A sea kayak is an excellent tool for the nature documentarian to commune with nature. It provides the stealth necessary to film wildlife up-close, something impossible to achieve with a motorized vessel. We will paddle out in search of stories that you will capture and edit back home the following week in a structured on-line class. Tom guides you in capturing the shots, sequences and interviews needed to produce an engaging short documentary. Josh teaches the skills necessary for camping and kayaking through Maine’s waters in comfort. Though the camping and kayaking are designed as an easy introduction to wilderness exploration, you should be ready for some physical exertion. Each member of our expedition is expected to contribute to setting up camp along with turns at cooking duty.
The first week’s classroom is both in-the-wild (four nights) and indoors at the traditional Maine Island Lodge(two nights). Following a weekend to get home, you will have a week in an on-line classroom to assemble your documentary. A Zoom classroom is an excellent means of learning the basics as well as intricacies of editing. Remote editing is fast becoming the standard practice for the industry. With Tom’s input you will develop your story in the edit room while also learning where improvement is needed in your camerawork for your next production. Overcoming mishaps from the field is at the heart of documentary storytelling.
Our sense of community developed during our week together in the woods continues into our virtual classroom. We share in the progress of our fellow classmates during morning lectures. Each afternoons you will have half an hour of individual time with Tom to address your project’s specific needs. At the end of edit week, we will screen all our films together.
Included in the Sea Kayaking week is everything you will need from food to shelter to a sea kayak during your time on the water. You only need to bring layered clothing and your camera gear. A laptop would be helpful for preliminary work with your footage, but at the least bring a hard drive (500meg -1 terabyte free space) so we can transfer your camera footage during the expedition.
For those preferring to rent cameras, Tom will work with you to assemble a camera and audio package. It will be delivered to you at our first campsite. We strongly recommend accidental water damage insurance for your cameras as we cannot be responsible for them.
Tom Donohue (Film Teacher) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has been leading Maine Media Workshops for almost 20 years both in Maine and abroad in Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina. His most recent National Geographic assignments ranged from environmental pieces in the Galapagos Islands to filming polar bears up close in the Arctic. Tom’s website: Cinewright.com
Josh Lipkowitz (Wilderness Teacher) is the owner and Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide for MountainSea Expeditions. Josh has a graduate degree in Conservation Biology. His passion is leading people young and old into the outdoors on foot, skis, snowboards, surfboards, sailboats, canoes, bicycles, and sea kayaks.
David Jester (Teaching Assistant) is a Paramedic and Fireman for the State of Maine as well as a passionate Sea Kayaker. David recently pursued his dream of making documentary films by enrolling in Maine Media’s 4-week Documentary Film School taught by Tom. David’s student film went on to be accepted at two important film festivals last year.
About Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue (Film Teacher) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has been leading Maine Media Workshops for almost 20 years both in Maine and abroad in Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina. His most recent National Geographic assignments ranged from environmental pieces in the Galapagos Islands to filming polar bears up close in the Arctic.