Exploring Reality is a Documentary skills series launched by the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland in 2023
Documentaries are everywhere. Audiences can find feature documentaries and episodics on every platform but how can you make the best documentary that cuts through the mountains of new documentaries that are made each year?
Exploring Reality is a unique series of workshops built on the talent of creative documentary directors that brings together a series of combined talks, workshops and masterclasses designed by documentary directors, for documentary directors.
We want to strengthen the ability of directors to produce innovative work so that they can take a creative and active role in the evolving market for documentary and respond to the trends in ground-breaking, collaborative, and interdisciplinary ways. Exploring Reality training programme will strike a balance between inspirational masterclasses and hands-on sessions to help directors as they explore the infinite creative solutions and possibilities open to them.
Session One The Structure of Documentary Story March 28th & 29th
How do you crack a great story structure? In this session we will explore how to develop story arcs, the different ways that story structure evolves from initial idea right through to the edit, finding story in the edit, planning in extreme detail from the outset, storyboards, working without narration and with narration, POV, observational filmmaking, scripted/designed documentary, first person voice, visual structure, collaborating with the editor to find the story and working with a writer attached.
Session Two Self-Shooting for Directors 3rd – 5th April
Training in the skill of self-shooting for documentary directors including: Camera menus, set up, tripod to hand-held shooting techniques. Through a series of practical exercises, in teams made up of pairs, participants will learn how to frame and operate the camera both handheld and on the tripod, record good quality sound and shoot sequences. Building a narrative, filming a conversation/interview, filming for the edit.
Session Three Sound for Documentary 25th April
Training focused on the skill of recording sound for documentary directors including basics of sound terminology, learning to recognise good quality sound, understanding equipment, choosing best microphone and recorder for scene, interview set up, outdoor set up, recording live events, microphone position, reading sound recording levels, planning for sound, importing the audio to computer, file formats. This session will provide the background knowledge, theory and practical skills required to achieve broadcast quality sound for film and television documentaries.
Session Four Making Documentary Series 3rd & 4th May
Training focused on the skill of storytelling for documentary series including how to develop story structure, cracking story arcs, how to divide the story for different episode lengths, finding story in the edit and scheduling for a series. This session will bring in streaming platforms and commissioning editors for panel discussions and project mentoring.
Session Five Inspiration From A Documentary Film Maker Masterclass 11th May
A masterclass with a documentary director looking at their creative process and career, storytelling, writing, production, post-production, cinematography.
Session Six International co-production and the future business of documentary 23rd & 24th May
Training focused on the business of international co-production including new partnerships, business adaptability and current opportunities and will provide an overview of the European broadcasting and funding landscape, market trends, analysis and strategies, distribution and festival markets. These sessions will also focus on the future of documentary including forecasts on how directors will imagine, create, deliver, experience and engage with documentaries in the future, how to train directors of today to prepare and cultivate industry for future in documentary, game and other media integration.
Session Seven Best Practice with Editors in Documentary 6th & 7th June
Focusing on the skill of working with editors for documentary directors including communicating vision to editors, effective critiques, common challenges, how to get your edit back when going in different direction, software and remote editing. This session will cover editing for both feature and series documentary.
Session Eight Visual Storytelling for Documentary and working with a writer or story editor 20th June
The final session is focused on the structure of experimental /non-traditional documentary making including visual storytelling, creative techniques, working with characters, dialogue, character development, use of music, visual effects and how to communicate your vision.
March 28th – June 20th 2023
Locations in Dublin include:
The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas St, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 PX8H. Map
The Moli Museum UCD Naughton Joyce Centre, 86 St Stephen’s Green, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin, D02 XY43. Map
Applications are now closed.
For application enquiries please email email@example.com
This course offered by SDGI is free of charge to Members of SDGI however if you would like to make a contribution or pay your membership, you can do so at this page.
Session one: The Structure of Documentary story (2 days)
Training focused on the structure of documentary storytelling including how to crack a great story structure, developing story arcs, the different ways that story structure evolves from initial idea right through to the edit.
Session two: Self Shooting for Directors (3 days)
Course focused on the skill of self-shooting for documentary directors. Through a series of practical exercises, in teams made up of pairs, participants will learn how to frame and operate the camera both handheld and on the tripod, record good quality sound and shoot sequences.
Session three: Inspiration from Documentary Directors (1 day)
Inspiration from Documentary Directors (Europe and beyond) Training focused on the art of making documentary for directors including exploring the creative process behind film and episodic documentaries, storytelling, writing with documentary directors looking at their creative process and careers.
Session four: Sound for Directors (1 day)
This course will provide the background knowledge, theory and practical skills required to achieve broadcast quality sound for film and television documentaries.
Session five: Making Series Documentary (2 days)
The skill of making series documentary, storytelling for directors including how to develop story structure, cracking story arcs, working with commissioning editors and streaming platforms .
Session six International Co Production and the future business of documentary (2 days)
Training focused on the business of international co-production for documentary directors working in production including new partnerships, business adaptability, markets and festivals.
Session seven Best Practice with Editors (2 days)
Training focused on the skill of working with editors for documentary directors including communicating vision to editors, planning and managing the edit, how to select footage, organising footage, editing interviews, structure, music, effective critiques, common challenges, how to get your edit back when going in different direction, working with narration, defining arc of story, managing conflict, software, remote editing.
Session eight Visual Storytelling (1 day)
Training focused on the structure of experimental /non-traditional documentary making including visual storytelling, creative techniques, working with characters, dialogue, character development, use of music, visual effects.