The Wonderful (and often Wacky) World of Documentary

15h over 6 sessions (Film screening will take place during the final session)

Proficiency Level

Course Description 

This is not your average documentary workshop. It’s not about the latest gear, or the trendiest topic, or how to make your video go viral. This is about how life is often stranger than fiction, what the functions and techniques of documentary are, and how to tell a compelling non-fiction story for the screen.

The process of ideating, producing, filming, editing your own documentary, plus overcoming the various challenges that will come along with making a documentary, will be the craft journey you will embark upon as a class across the 6 sessions.

By the end of the workshop, you will have made a documentary that you can truly call your own, and present it to the class in a film screening.

There will also be a screening of films by the class which is open to friends and family at the end of the workshop.

Please register via the form below.

Workshop Fee

This workshop is eligible for use of SkillsFuture Credit.

Jessica Lee
(View the profiles of our instructors here.)

Next Dates

Please email us at to be informed of upcoming sessions.

Course Overview

Session 1
• Introduction: What is documentary?
• Telling a compelling story that entertains
• Case studies of different types of documentaries – series, feature, themes, techniques of filming etc.
• 3As – Angle, Access, and Archive
• How to know if people care about your documentary
• Pitching your documentary
• The practical stuff – financing, budgeting, and scheduling
Session 2
• Pitch session
• History of documentaries
• Interview preparation and techniques
Session 3
• How to use archives to tell a story
• Filming techniques using camera, lights, audio, and mobile phones
• How to effectively tell your story without fancy gear
• What is Broll?
• Why you need to shoot Broll, and how to do so
• Hybrid documentaries – How to blur fact and fiction
Session 4
• Production challenges and fixes
• Editing documentaries
• What happens after your documentary is made?
Session 5
• Documentary shoot check-in
Session 6
• Film screening and presentation
• Format: In-person
Participants are welcomed to invite friends and family to attend the screening.


Please note:
This is a very hands-on workshop. Participants’ learning will be most effective if they are able to make all (or most) of the sessions, and will be able to shoot their short documentaries during the period indicated in the schedule below.

As the workshop may be repeated several times a year, participants may wish to register for a future round if they already know they may miss several lessons during this period. Make-up lessons and refunds are not offered for sessions missed.

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