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Introduction to Documentary Workshop


Duration: 2 Days
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Capacity: 15 students
Workshop Fee: $199
Pre-requisites: None
Required Materials: InFocus will provide all cameras and equipment. Nothing else is required, though you may wish to bring a USB drive to take your footage home with you!

Register for our hands-on documentary workshop and discover how you can spin an interesting idea into a compelling, visual narrative.

On day one, learn about the many genres of documentary film and principals of good storytelling. Delve into camera theory, story principals, and stages of documentary production. Complete the day engaged in valuable camera exercises to start you on the path towards becoming a documentary filmmaker!

The morning of day two covers how to approach distributors and broadcasters to sell your documentary. Learn about documentary treatments, proposals, and demos and the basics of pitching your film.

The afternoon is dedicated to lighting workshops, covering the basic principles lighting for film such as direction, mood, and light quality. Learn universal lighting techniques–how to manipulate and control lighting to set a mood and capture your audience. Finish the day with an exercise on light direction and using available light.

Subjects Covered

  • Introduction to the documentary genre
  • Three-act structure and building a story
  • Visual and screen grammar
  • Creative shot sequences for documentaries
  • White balance, exposure, and other fundamental camera skills
  • Selling your film
  • Treatments, proposals, and pitching
  • Demos for documentary
  • Lighting for documentary
  • Using available light and bounces
  • Understanding light direction and mood


Julia Ivanova is an award-winning Vancouver documentary filmmaker, whose film, Family Portrait in Black and White, won at Hot Docs 2011 as the Best Canadian Feature, played at Sundance and was nominated for a Genie Award. Being a director/editor/cinematographer and an avid fan of international documentaries, she believes in the emotional power of visual storytelling and poetic cinema.

Leslie Kennah has over a decade of experience exploring life through the lens—most prominently working with artistic, non-profit and small business organizations. Her practice as a digital media artist, working with both photography and video, has honed her skills as a visual storyteller. Experienced with transforming conceptual ideas into dynamic and engaging visual content, she is committed to bringing imagination and style to all projects.

Cancellation: Please note we have a strict, full fee 48-hour cancellation policy. If we receive your cancellation notice less than 48-hours before your workshop begins, you will not be issued a refund. A $30 administration fee will apply to all other cancellations.

Rebooking may be done at no cost provided 72 hours notice. Less than 72 hours notice will result in a $25 rebooking fee.

This workshop is for informational purposes only.