Develop a documentary writing and editing style to tell clear, dramatic stories.
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Each film is its own Odyssey. We have the best chance of creating powerful and resonant storytelling, if we approach it that way and search anew each time, for the intersection of: The Craft; what arises out of the material in front of us; who we are and what we bring to the craft and to the material in front of us.
We will spend the week digging deeply into all three. And, along the way, develop enlivening skills for seeing, listening, and feeling at a deeper level than we commonly practice, all necessary to textured and layered storytelling.
Exploring and building on Case Studies, from multiple sub-genres of documentary, will provide the basis for the week. Pieces for varied clients and venues will be used and discussed (ranging from varied broadcast clients to small non-profit’s website, to independent projects, and others).
Students are encouraged to bring their own work (raw footage, works-in-progress, finished pieces, or even pre-production ideas) and a safe space is created for this screening and discussion.
We’ll learn how to use the questions of the craft as tools and touchstones for making the endless creative, and related, decisions that we face every day (including working with limited resources). Storytelling is not a linear process and, therefore, neither is the week. We will roll into the questions of the craft a few at a time, adding to, but also reinforcing, earlier fundamentals as we go.
Tips for addressing common challenges in creative process, as well as storytelling, will also be shared. This is a case study week rather than a hands-on editing week, but if it is important to you to edit during the week, please speak to Dana Rae in advance.
Header Image Credit: ©Amy Campbell
Instructor: Dana Rae Warren
Dana Rae Warren is a filmmaker, teacher, and consultant with 25 years in the national television documentary and independent film worlds. She enjoys and has developed particular expertise shaping stories in the edit room. Her work includes: Producer Writer on the Peabody Award-winning and twice Emmy-nominated Turner Broadcasting series Moon Shot; Producer Writer Director on multiple episodes for the PBS NOVA Science Now series, including profiles on MacArthur Awardee Edith Widder and National Medal of Science Awardee Lonnie Thompson, as well as on animal intelligence and on the link between exploring space and the deep sea; ongoing award-winning public service such as the tobacco-free campaign, Quit For Your Kids; and Great Expectations, an education series, which aired on The Sundance Channel, won an Emmy and was invited to present at Austin’s SXSW Education Conference.