Past Workshop Descriptions

Developing a Documentary With Social Impact

NOTE: It is recommended that participants wear a mask for all in-person workshops.

Great documentary storytelling can entertain, enlighten, deepen our empathy, and forge a connection with important social issues. But all too often funders and gatekeepers dismiss documentary proposals as being too dry, too akin to a lecture, or “just an issue and not a story”. How do professional filmmakers develop powerful documentary film ideas that incorporate their desire for social impact but in a manner that attracts funding and connects audiences with the issue emotionally and meaningfully? Similarly, an effective social impact campaign can amplify the reach of your film significantly but how do filmmakers integrate one in an organic manner rather than as an afterthought, while remaining independent in their filmmaking?

Through in-depth case studies of socially impactful documentaries, and discussion of students’ own documentary proposals, this course will offer a deep dive into how to develop and produce a socially impactful documentary that will connect with audiences emotionally, be attractive to funders, and build effective impact outreach strategies into the process.

Please come to the first session with one or two potential social issue documentary ideas ready for discussion.

The Introduction to Independent Filmmaking workshop is strongly recommended as a prerequisite. This workshop is recommended as a companion to the Visual Metaphor and Expressive Directing Techniques​, Visual Research for Documentaries and The Business of Film Distribution workshops.​

Location: In Person
Category: Producing
Maximum Capacity: 12
8 hours of instruction in 2 parts$125 /member$150 /nonmember

Wait List
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