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Vermont Folklife Center Hosts Documentary Filmmaking Workshops

Monday, October 30, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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The Vermont Folklife Center (VFC) will host two workshops on the subject of documentary filmmaking this November!

Documentary Filmmaking Pre-Production
Nov. 3, 10am–4pm, $95

The full-day workshop will cover proposal writing, producing a trailer or sizzle reel, planning your production, and some basics on visual storytelling. Come with a pre-planned project or story, or feel free learn the basics and find your story out in the world after the workshop.

Attendees will examine and become familiar with the many different approaches to documentary work and identify what form best fits their content or story. Projects may be local stories, family histories or a small-business marketing projects. Writing a proposal is a good way to develop story ideas and this workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn different approaches to proposal-writing through examples and discussion. After theorizing how to approach individual stories and spending some time on proposals, participants will be introduced to the technical aspects of documentary filmmaking and examine which equipment and approaches will best suit their individual documentary projects. The discussion will focus on access to equipment, types of cameras available, recording professional-quality audio, and editing trailers. Throughout the pre-production phase, it’s important to keep in mind the other stages of documentary filmmaking: production, post-production, and distribution. For those interested, two additional workshops will be offered (this workshop is not a prerequisite for Documentary Production and Documentary Post-Production, but all three do work together as a unit).


Documentary Filmmaking Production
Nov. 17, 10am–4pm, 

The Documentary Production workshop will introduce participants to approaches to filming interviews, recording professional-quality audio, using different camera techniques, gathering b-roll, doing archival research, and shooting to edit. Participants will be able to practice techniques identified and discussed and will also become familiar with different equipment possibilities available. Feedback, critique, brainstorming and discussion will play an important role in moving participants’ ideas forward. Come with footage you’ve already filmed, or feel free learn the basics and find your story out in the world after the workshop.

Documentary filmmaking is one of the most dynamic and unpredictable mediums of storytelling and is an important tool for cultural sustainability. However, the medium can feel daunting and reserved for only national headlines or “big” stories, whereas in reality, it is just as important on a local level. In this workshop, no matter your level of expertise, come learn about the Production phase of documentary storytelling with filmmaker and VFC Educator Myles David Jewell.

This workshop is intended for amateur and professionals alike, students and teachers, small business owners and most importantly, storytellers.

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