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:

Archival Research 101 | August 3 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Archival Research 101 guides students down pathways for using third-party media in films. This course highlights how to avoid copyright and licensing pitfalls. Students will learn from pre-production to final delivery the basics of how to research, order, and clear archival photographs, films, and videos. We will move beyond Google and seek material at archives like the National Archives, Library of Congress, public libraries, museums, and universities. The course will cover media formats, copyright, licensing, budgeting, public domain materials, distributor requirements, and media management. Students will take away a list of go-to sources for historic film research and contemporary media licensing.

To register for the workshop, SIGN UP HERE.

About the instructor: Sarah Katz
Sarah Katz has worked in television and multimedia as a Producer, Associate Producer, and Researcher for more than nineteen years. She has cleared rights for more than three dozen televised documentaries including the recently released series The Machines That Built America on History as well as museum exhibits like Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing for the Smithsonian, and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. She has been commended by her colleagues for her thorough understanding of the field. Sarah has been called the most experienced Archival Producer he’s met by some of Jon Stewart’s producers and sought after by Oscar Nominated filmmakers for her research experience.


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.


Documentary Structure & Storytelling | August 24 & 31 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

This two-part Documentary Structure and Storytelling workshop is broken up into Part 1: The Essentials of Documentary Storytelling and Part 2: The Big Picture of Documentary Structure. If you are working on your first documentary, it is recommended you sign up for both sessions since they build on each other. However, it is also possible to sign up for these sessions a la carte.

Part 1: The Essentials of Documentary Storytelling | Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Just because documentary filmmaking is about recording actuality, filmmakers still need to pay the same attention to visual storytelling as you would with any fiction film. In this workshop, you will learn more about the tools of screen grammar and sequencing, how to break down a situation into the right shots, and deliver footage that makes sense (and saves you time and money) in the edit room.

Part 2: The Big Picture of Documentary Structure | Tuesday, August 31, 2021

If you were building a house, you would need to have a blueprint which provides a plan of what it will look like and where you need to use different tools. A film is no different. You need to have some idea of the direction of where the story is heading even if you don’t have a script. Breaking down hours of footage of different characters, in different locations and at different times into a workable rough cut is one of the toughest exercises in post-production. For filmmakers in pre-production or production, this session will help you better organize and control your shoots with specific goals to avoid ending up with tons of material that won’t help you tell the story. For filmmakers who are beginning post-production, this session will focus on how to get a handle on your material by defining the thematic progression with tools that are available to every filmmaker. The goal is to help to find your structure and drive your story forward.

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.