Documentary Production and Practice

Course Description

This class is a hybrid of documentary study and documentary production.

You will be introduced to foundational texts and screenings of classic and contemporary non-fiction narrative. In discussion, we will examine modes of storytelling, as well as problems of the practice, and define and interrogate approaches to filmmaking. Simultaneously, we will engage in technical demonstrations of digital video and audio capture, non-linear editing software and workflow, and thoughtful pre-production technique.

You will take an active role in discussion, sharing inspiration and examples of non-fiction storytelling. At the same time, they will engage in original storytelling through sound and image, building to a final project of their own creation.

Working in small groups for their capstone project, students will engage in the full range of the production experience, from pre-production planning and storyboarding to recording original footage, through edit, critique and reiteration to the final presentation of a completed work.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • gain knowledge of foundational texts and documentary techniques
  • develop working skills in documentary production and post-production
  • build capacity to engage in thoughtful critique and reflection
  • learn to think critically about media and narrative techniques
This course will support your interest in pursuing filmmaking by building practical skills and theoretical approaches as they work toward a portfolio piece. This class will also benefit you interrogating the mass and social media environment to complicate the presentation of the "real." A rigorous undertaking, this experience will prepare you for the rhythms and demands of a college-level media production and theory course.


This course will require extensive creative work outside of class hours--you are advised not to attempt a second course concurrently with this one. You will be expected to enter the course ready to start the creative process immediately, even if their technical abilities are initially limited. Ideally, you will arrive with a concrete idea of the project they would like to pursue. Production experience or personal media equipment are not required, but those with their own filmmaking tools are welcome to use them.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 15, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 3:30P-6:20P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Stephen Crocker
Course Number: 10121