Past Workshop Descriptions

Documentary Film Writing

Is your film’s controlling idea compelling and fresh? Does the story have strong universal themes? Will the audience relate to the protagonist? What is the main conflict? These and other questions can be found in the coverage templates script readers are asked to follow when they evaluate independent documentary film proposals. Increasingly, filmmakers are expected to deliver docs that have the same crowd-pleasing traits dramas possess - with one key difference: where drama writers can dream up their scenarios, documentarians must stick to the facts. How can you meet all these expectations when you’re telling a story that is still unfolding? That is the subject of this two-night workshop. Night One deals with development. How can you pitch your idea? How do you write a convincing one-pager? What differentiates a good sizzle reel from a bad one? Night Two is devoted to production. How do you craft a shooting script or treatment? How do you know if your film needs narration and, if so, what kind? What written material do programmers, broadcasters and media representatives like to see accompany a finished film? Whether you’re stuck at the idea, outline or rough-cut stage, this workshop can help you overcome the obstacles you face and take the next step.

Participants must submit a short description of their documentary concept to the first day of class.

Past Instructor: Steve Lucas
Category: Writing
Maximum Capacity: 10
8 hours of instruction in 2 parts$125 /member$150 /nonmember

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