Filmmaking Workshops

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Whether you consider yourself a seasoned professional, an emerging filmmaker, or a beginner, Docs In Progress offers a range of adult education programs focused on documentary filmmaking. Beginners may want to check out our introductory production, pre-production, editing, and storytelling classes and webinars. Those filmmakers with more experience can find a variety of professional development workshops, bootcamps, panels, expert talks, master classes, and other programs focused on everything from taking your camerawork or editing to the next level to developing a fundraising strategy to honing your pitch. We also offer educational programs for youth and nonprofit organizations. Think you may want to take a lot of workshops? Save by becoming a Docs Insider Premium member or getting an All-Access Pass.


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Budgeting for Documentary Class | June 8 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Keeping control over your budget throughout the entire documentary filmmaking process (from the early stages to the finished product) is a core component when making a film. Having a budget doesn’t only give you confidence, it also tells the funders that you know what you are doing. It helps you to raise money and it helps you to save money. How do I structure my documentary budget? What items go into a budget? What is the cost of each item? Which are the hard costs? What is an in-kind contribution? Do I pay myself? What about archival rights? Music licensing rights? Does the budget change as I move forward in the process?

In this class you’ll learn how to construct a budget and we’ll discuss all the above questions, plus all the questions that you bring to the table. After the class, you will have a much clearer picture about how to build your own budget.

To register for the workshop, SIGN UP HERE.

About the instructor: Adele Schmidt
Adele Schmidt is a film & video producer, director and editor who has won numerous awards in both documentary and fiction films, including TIVA-DC's Peer Award, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival Award, the Telly Awards and the Gabriel Award. She is co-founder of Zeitgeist Media LLC, an independent production company that has been releasing the music documentary series on progressive Rock, "Romantic Warriors - A Progressive Music Saga," which includes the Krautrock Trilogy. She is also an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University and a co-founder of Docs In Progress. Originally from Germany, Adele taught film and video production at the National Center for Cinematographic Studies, Mexico City.


My Life on Video: Documentary Workshop for Adults 55+ | June 14 - 18
In this week-long class for individuals aged 55+, you will learn how to share family stories through the power of video. The documentary filmmaking skills you learn here can be applied towards other projects should you decide that there are more films to make in your future.

Using photographs, interviews, music, and narration, you will create a 2 - 5 minute film which you can share with family, friends and your community. In the process, you will learn the basics of video production and editing with help from the instructor and your fellow students. Most importantly, you will have FUN learning in a collaborative nurturing environment.

The workshop will meet in person at the Docs In Progress office June 14 - 18, 2021 (Monday - Friday) from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm.

This program is made possible through support from the City of Takoma Park, MD – Municipal Government. Full and partial scholarships are available for residents of Takoma Park, MD. For more information about scholarships, please reach out to us at [email protected]

To register for the workshop, SIGN UP HERE.

About the Instructor: Olha Onyshko
Olha Onyshko is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer. Her first film, Three Stories of Galicia, a story of humanism in the midst of atrocities during and after World War II, premiered in 2010. Screened in 12 countries and translated into four languages, the film sparked a debate over historic memory and its role in current events. Her latest film Women of Maidan is her second feature documentary, and while editing the film she began to coordinate efforts between physicians and volunteers to bring wounded Ukrainian soldiers to the U.S. for life-saving medical treatment. In 2014 she received recognition by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Embassy of Ukraine to the U.S. for her extraordinary work.

Onyshko’s short films include The Wheat Job, about the 2015 Washington, DC, construction of the Holodomor Memorial (in honor of victims of the 1932-1933 Ukrainian artificial famine orchestrated by the Soviet regime), Where Do The Children Play? (Telly Award), and videos for organizations including the National Park Service, The World Bank, United Nations, U.S. Department of Education, Global Health and Johns Hopkins University. 


Documentary Fundraising | June 22 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Making a documentary film is exciting, but raising money to make that film is all but exciting. It’s very hard work. The good news is that there is a potential audience for every film and there is also potential money for every film, but you must take on the challenge to find that audience and find that money. If you think that you have a fantastic idea, you must still prove that others will feel the same way and you must be able to address the basic questions of need, audience, distribution, marketing, crew, budget, and … you better have a funding plan. Some projects raise money following a patchwork strategy by receiving money from different sources. Some projects are supported by one big funder. All is possible and all is valuable on the quest to get your film done. What’s your strategy?

In this session we’ll discuss the following questions:

What is the right mindset to start raising money for your project? Is my project doable and is there money to support it? Where is the money coming from? What is the right fundraising strategy for my film?

To register for the workshop, SIGN UP HERE.

About the instructor: Adele Schmidt
Adele Schmidt is a film & video producer, director and editor who has won numerous awards in both documentary and fiction films, including TIVA-DC's Peer Award, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival Award, the Telly Awards and the Gabriel Award. She is co-founder of Zeitgeist Media LLC, an independent production company that has been releasing the music documentary series on progressive Rock, "Romantic Warriors - A Progressive Music Saga," which includes the Krautrock Trilogy. She is also an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University and a co-founder of Docs In Progress. Originally from Germany, Adele taught film and video production at the National Center for Cinematographic Studies, Mexico City.


Marketing and Distributing Your Documentary Film | August 10 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm
With the digitalization of the film and video industry and the rise of social media, marketing and distribution strategies for documentaries have changed. Traditionally, marketing & distribution efforts involved film festivals that served as a launching pad for possible distribution through a distributor. Today, in addition to film festivals, there are many other options of how to market and distribute a film. Projects can exist on more than one platform and you want to consider all ways your project can evolve. In this workshop we will look into new trends in the film marketing and distribution landscape, and we’ll find out the best marketing and distribution options for your film.

Workshop topics include: Digital distribution platforms, cross platform thinking and marketing, the benefits of first and second tier festivals, the educational market, PBS, social media and how best to make use of it, alternative sources of monetization, how data analytics can help you reach your target audience.

To register for the workshop, SIGN UP HERE.

About the instructor: Adele Schmidt
Adele Schmidt is a film & video producer, director and editor who has won numerous awards in both documentary and fiction films, including TIVA-DC's Peer Award, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival Award, the Telly Awards and the Gabriel Award. She is co-founder of Zeitgeist Media LLC, an independent production company that has been releasing the music documentary series on progressive Rock, "Romantic Warriors - A Progressive Music Saga," which includes the Krautrock Trilogy. She is also an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University and a co-founder of Docs In Progress. Originally from Germany, Adele taught film and video production at the National Center for Cinematographic Studies, Mexico City.