Gain new skills as a Nonfiction Filmmaker as you develop an effective portfolio piece to move your career forward.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: This class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform.
Class meets Tuesdays, 4-7pm ET for six sessions and includes 1:1 mentorship.

Video production is a field that doesn’t seem to want to stop growing. Companies and organizations of all sizes are now fully embracing video as a marketing tool, which makes this moment an exciting one for filmmakers. But while the opportunities expand, it can still feel challenging to move your career in the direction you want. How do you create a game-changing portfolio piece to market yourself to clients and collaborators?

In this course, we will cover important theory, and discuss valuable practical techniques to create compelling nonfiction film and video work. Through 1:1 mentorship with the instructor outside of class, students can receive feedback on their current portfolio, and input on their next project.

During class sessions we will examine key aspects of nonfiction filmmaking in depth. Everything from what makes a shot or cut work, to how you can build out your camera rig. We’ll discuss cinematography and shooting approaches. Lensing, depth cues, and operating techniques. We’ll dive deep into interviews – how to light, shoot, and conduct them effectively. We’ll discuss the not-insignificant challenge of editing nonfiction – opportunities to streamline workflow to be both manageable and also ripe for creative storytelling. 

Through Zoom Screen Share, students will get an intimate view of the instructor’s process with regard to editing workflow and pre-visualization. We will talk about client dynamics and opportunities for professional development. An emphasis is placed on building and utilizing your portfolio as the strongest tool to market yourself. 

Through it all, you will learn the techniques to make an effective portfolio film that can take your career to the next level. Even as you grow your skill set, students will also have the opportunity to develop or make a short project over the six weeks. Whether you choose to make a short project or develop one to be produced after the workshop ends, or simply experiment with new techniques, our 1:1 sessions will afford you the chance to receive direct critique on what you are working on. Each student will have up to 2 x one-hour sessions scheduled outside of class hours.  

By the end of the course, students will have gained valuable new techniques and a new understanding of non-fiction filmmaking, giving them confidence in approaching their next project, and pursuing their next professional opportunity.

View examples of past student work in similar courses taught by Tom Ryan:

El Foguito (Created by Dave Backlin)
Aled Lewis, Furniture Maker (Created by Jacklyn Grad & Tillie Marsh)
Somedays (created by Jenny Johnson)

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Instructor: Tom Ryan

A New England-based editor and filmmaker, Tom has worked extensively in the worlds of commercial, corporate, and documentary film. He has freelanced in Production for over 9 years and is a co-founder of the Maine-based Production company, Tailwind Media. As an editor, his work in fiction and documentary film has been shown in numerous festivals. In addition to workshops, he currently teaches documentary film in the 30-Week Professional Certificate program at Maine Media College. Affiliated with MMW+C for over 6 years, Tom is passionate about teaching storytelling to students of all career paths and skill levels.