There are no available registration dates at this time.

This course is part of our Young Artist program, Open to all high school-aged students.

This class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform.
Class Meets Tues/Wed/Thurs 1-4:30pm ET

This 2-Week Online workshop is for young, aspiring filmmakers looking to immerse themselves in the process of nonfiction storytelling, and become familiar with the exciting and growing world of the documentary!

Documentaries take us on all kinds of journeys. They can profile a person, examine a subject or topic, effect social change, and afford a platform for personal expression. And mockumentaries can be wildly entertaining.

The class will be held in an online format using the Zoom platform. We will meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00- 4:30pm ET. Our class time will involve discussion, demonstration, screenings, and in-class exercises that will help to shape your craft and creative vision. We’ll discuss student projects as they are being developed, shot and edited. Students will also watch assigned films out-of-class.

Image Credit: Devin Altobello

The workshop will start by exploring the art of the documentary. We’ll screen contemporary films, discuss, analyze them, and see how key films and filmmakers expanded our ideas about what documentaries can be. Then students will move into the dynamics of making their own short documentaries. Through talks, demonstrations, and exercises, students will learn and practice essential skills involved in documentary production. Finding a story, identifying characters, setting up and conducting interviews, shooting approaches, and the editing process will all be covered.

There will be a series of assigned projects that students will be expected to work on both in-class as well as on their own.

The final phase of the workshop will largely be project-based. With guidance and mentorship from the instructors (and with consideration of health and safety) each student will work to create a short documentary film. They are encouraged to explore subjects and ideas that are meaningful or interesting to them. A major focus of the class is on finding and developing your unique voice as a storyteller.

At the end of the Workshop, the class will share their pieces at a virtual showcase and celebration.

While the course is conducted remotely, students will still have ample opportunity to connect with their peers digitally. Creative ideas for collaboration are also welcome!

This course will provide students with an exceptional foundation and a terrific head start to launch their education and take their first steps towards a career in documentary filmmaking.

Notable past students include Luke Lorentzen whose 2019 film “Midnight Family” played at over 100 festivals and won the Special Jury Award for Cinematography at Sundance.

A quote from Luke:

“Maine Media is where I made my first documentary. It was a life changing week of intense and focused work with an incredible group of mentors and fellow budding filmmakers.“


NOTE: All students will need to have their own camera or smartphone that records video. As this class is being offered online this year, there is a significant reduction in tuition. If you do not have access to a camera of your own, you might consider the opportunity to put those savings toward a purchase or rental. The instructors will happily make recommendations on cameras (be it for a smartphone expansion kit, or an affordable DSLR) which can serve students well in their filmmaking education long-term. However, no purchase or rental is required, only a camera or phone that records video and sound, and a computer!

Depending on the streaming services currently used by participants (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), students may incur additional costs ($10-20) to stream assigned films.

Students must be equipped with a WiFi connection so they can join our Zoom meetings, and a computer capable of running basic video editing software.

Header Image: Peter Logue

Share This

Instructor: Camille Howard

Camille Howard is a documentary filmmaker with proud roots in DownEast Maine. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation, her senior thesis project Yvonne’s Kitchen was a semi-finalist for the Student Academy Award. The film is currently being screened in film festivals around the country, including the Oregon Documentary Film Festival, where Camille was nominated for Best Director, and the High Falls Women’s Film Festival and Cecil County Independent Film Festival, where the film won audience awards for Best Short Documentary. Her documentary work focuses on health and wellness, feminine identity, and community. She is currently working as a regional producer on the feature documentary Voices from the Barons.

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.