Professional workshops for independent documentary filmmakers

(Pictured above: Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter leads a session at the February 2017 workshop.)

NEXT SCHEDULED WORKSHOP: The next workshop hasn’t yet been scheduled. Please check back here for updates.

ABOUT: Independent filmmaking is flourishing, but stories can be undermined when filmmakers and journalists don’t bulletproof their stories against powerful critics or opponents. The goal of this workshop is to elevate the journalistic standards of independent filmmakers, increase the impact of their stories and help them break new ground. Topics covered include:

  • Interviewing and storytelling techniques to strengthen creativity
  • Fairness: how to prepare for public information/distortion of your reporting
  • Ethics: recreation of events, point of view scenes, use of hidden microphones and cameras, use of studies and polls, providing recording equipment to third parties, use and limits of releases, privacy and trespassing, payments and licenses, advance screenings
  • Sources: relationship with sources, use of confidential sources, the “reporter’s privilege”
  • Legal: libel, copyright law, plagiarism, how to avoid litigation

The workshop includes one-on-one coaching, as well as ongoing support for participants via phone or Skype with veteran journalists and legal experts for up to a year following the course.

The workshops are supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

More: Workshop Instructors Workshop Schedule Workshop Participants

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