D.I.Y. Story Craft

Deadline March 05, 2020

Dive deep into the storytelling processes behind documentary!

Story Craft is 6 weeks of collaborative work in which you’ll deconstruct pro documentaries & their treatments, while planning & workshopping your own treatment.

This course is great for generating a new idea or finding your way through a maze of pre-existing footage.

Story Craft is appropriate for students of all levels: professional filmmakers have taken it to clarify ideas for working projects; D.I.Y. Documentary alumni have taken it as a next step in their filmmaking journeys; and brand new, never-touched-a-camera folks have taken it to get a sense of the process of putting together a doc before jumping into production.

Writing is an essential but often overlooked aspect of the nonfiction filmmaking process. This class puts writing center-stage, as a conceptual/working strategy, and an element of documentary itself — a course based in language but aimed towards images.

We will engage in rigorous weekly practice to develop new ways to organize thought and translate ideas into films. From crafting pitches and treatments, to working with transcripts, voice-over, and editing scripts, we will work collaboratively to hone our writing skills for the screen.

Each participant will leave with new ideas and skills, material for a short pitch video, and an in-depth creative treatment for their documentary project.

Instructor Anna Swanson is a nonfiction/experimental filmmaker, writer, educator, and organizer. She holds an MFA in Film/Video Production from the University of Iowa, and is a co-founder of the Portland-based social justice video collective Sensory Organizing Project.

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