Workshop Registration

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.

Prior to the class, please create a profile on Zoom and download the free version of the application. You will receive an email from LIFT with an invitation link to join the workshop one hour before the class begins which will prompt you to open the application or web browser. Please ensure that you log in using a Zoom account with a profile name that appears as the same name registered for the class. If not, for security reasons, you may not be permitted to join. During the workshop, we advise that you keep your microphone on mute to minimize external noise and that you unmute when participating in class discussions. Please also arrive to the session on time for attendance and class participation. ONLINE workshops may be recorded for staff and facilitator assessment. Recorded material will not be made available to participants. Review all workshop policies before registering.

part 1: Thu 17 February 2022, 6 - 9 pm   
part 2: Thu 24 February 2022, 6 - 9 pm   
(Registration deadline is Thu 17 February 5:00 pm)

Instructor: Steve Lucas

Steve Lucas has been writing, producing, show-running and story-editing popular films and TV shows for more than 35 years. His documentary film writing and story editing credits include the Genie Award-winning The Champagne Safari, the Gemini Award-winning Last Call at The Gladstone Hotel, and the Academy Award-nominated After the Axe, which he also co-produced. His award-winning drama writing credits include Global’s long-running crime drama series, Blue Murder, which he co-created and show ran, the CBC dramatic mini-series. Major Crime and the independent feature film Diplomatic Immunity, both of which he wrote and co-produced. More recently he co-wrote (with actor Peter Keleghan) Once An Immigrant, a well-received one-hour documentary telecast on the CBC. A University of Toronto graduate, Steve also developed and currently coordinates the Advanced Television and Film Script to Screen Program at Toronto’s Centennial College.

Category: Writing & Directing
Maximum Capacity: 10
6 hours of instruction in 2 parts$100 /member$125 /nonmember