Summer at Woodstock – Introduction to Documentary Film Making

Interested in making a documentary?

This is an introductory course to documentary filmmaking and covers all the major aspects required to conceive and produce a documentary film. The course is aimed at introducing the many tools that are essential to filmmaking and to equip participants with a fundamental understanding of how films are made. Alongside robust and detailed interactive sessions on the various techniques, theory and practice of documentary filmmaking, this course will also enable participants to make their own film and to explore the craft during the course of these 2 weeks at Woodstock


Who should take this course?


This course is primarily for students who are interested in filmmaking, photography, cinematography, sound recording and editing. With detailed sessions on a broad range of theoretical and technical themes, the course will strengthen the participant’s understanding of filmmaking and production. For those wishing to pursue filmmaking in the future, both in fiction and non-fiction, this course will prove to be a great foundation to build on. Considering the fact that this course doesn’t need any prerequisites, anyone wanting to learn a new skill or get a new perspective on storytelling can also apply.


What skills and knowledge will participants gain through the course?


Over the course of the two weeks here, participants will learn how to script, shoot and produce a documentary. Week one of the course, divided into two sections, will focus on foundational theory for filmmaking, familiarizing participants with the film language and on pre-production processes for documentary. With the help of a number of practical activities participants will get a chance to experiment with all the theoretical and technical knowledge that will be taught in week one and prepare them for week two.

Week two, focussed on production and post-production will be a bit more technical and challenging. With sessions designed to cover the basic tools and skills required to shoot for documentary, participants will be encouraged to conceive and shoot their own short-documentaries. Apart from shooting, week two will also aim at teaching basic sound recording and editing.


Course Description (week-wise)

Week 1:

  • Foundational Theory and Pre-Production
  • Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking
  • The many styles of non-fiction film making
  • Learning the Film Language
  • Thinking like a Filmmaker
  • Introduction to scripting for documentary
  • How to plan shoot and edit

Week 2:

  • Production and Post-Production
  • Basic tools to shoot right
  • Making a checklist for shoot
  • Shooting a documentary
  • Getting the best sound for your editor
  • Reviewing footage and making log sheets
  • Learning the edit workspace
  • Finding the best post-production workflow
  • Learning to think like an editor
  • Basic Sound Editing

AGE RANGE: 14-18 years

DATES: June 5 to June 16, 2023

COURSE FEES: INR 180,000 (inclusive of GST) along with Application Fee of INR 5,000 (non-refundable)

Faculty: Vinith Xavier

Vinith is an independent documentary filmmaker who also works as a freelance cinematographer and editor. From having managed and run a media collective of filmmakers and artists in Bangalore, Vinith moved to the Himalayas for the love of mountains and in want for newer experiences. He has worked on many projects over the years covering diverse sets of themes that have now come to shape his understanding of filmmaking and story-telling. He has directed 4 documentaries, worked as an editor in 6 and has many more films to his cinematography credentials. He is also a photographer, writer and musician.


With over 8 years of experience in the field, he has also worked with and trained numerous aspiring filmmakers from across the subcontinent. Vinith is currently working on three documentaries.