Monday, March 3, 2008

Digital Documentary Workshop



These days, online audio visual communications is the name of the game. Video equipment has become easy to use, and a lot of people are making amateur videos. This is a very healthy step towards self–expression, and autonomy.

However, there is a clear scope for improvement in the quality and clarity of the medium.
The objective of this workshop is a practical, hands on experience that enables a thorough learning of the step by step process of making a five minute video documentary.

This workshop will enable the students to conceive, script, shoot, edit and upload their own video films.

Benefits for Corporates and NGO's : Corporate communications mostly rely on PPP's and still photographs for their presentations. Or, they hire filmmakers to make video films to raise funds, to showcase a project, etc. Why not make your own films? It will be cost effective, and the time spent in dealing with a filmmaker will be saved. This is a unique opportunity for companies to upgrade their talented employees' skills by enrolling them in this workshop.

Course Content

1. Script writing

This includes observation trip, discussion, and writing the audio visual script of a five minute film. Idea and concept development, story boarding, paper planning.

2. Cinematography

Camera operations, basics of film grammar. This will include the main aspects of shooting a five minute video with a mini DV ( Digital video camera).

3. Editing

Elements of Editing will be taught, with the practical inputs of Non-linear Editing software like Adobe Premier Pro, a professional editing software. Each student will get hands on experience of editing the material which they have shot.

4.Launch your documentary on the Internet.

Students will learn about web friendly formats and the short video films will be uploaded on your website, blog or You-tube. Strategies and plans to become popular over the net as a documentary filmmaker will be discussed.


We have two batches, one is a four weeks batch, which starts on 10th March and ends on 4th April. In this batch, the class timings will be 2 pm o 4 pm, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The total fees for this batch will be Rs. four thousand only.

The weekend batch, which is specially designed for working people and students, will be on 15th (Saturday), 16th (Sunday), 22nd (Saturday), and 23rd (Sunday) of March. The timings will be 2pm to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 2 pm on Sundays.

The total fees for the weekend batch will be Rs. three thousand only.

For registration, please contact Manjushree on 9898872862.

The classes will be held near Judges Bungalows, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad.

Course Structure

The objective of this workshop would be to use a real and happening event, or a place, as a subject for making a documentary film of five minutes duration. The students will get hands on experience of shooting, and they will actively participate in each stage of the editing.


Concept, Research, Script writing and Story board. ( 4 into 2 hr. sessions )

By popular consensus, the class will arrive at a topic for research (for ex., child labor in the city). Then we shall go for an observation trip, to research and contact the possible subjects.

A detailed discussion of all that was seen and heard will set the tone for the shooting script. The points that are noted will be structured to form a shooting script. This will be a preparation to get into the mindset of shooting.

We shall also see some good documentary films and discuss them from a professional angle.


Using a digital video camera and shooting. ( six into 2hr sessions ) *

The next step is learning how to use a digital video camera, how to record both sound and picture in a non-controlled environment.
We shall also discuss the rules of composition while framing for an interview, how to use the available light, some basic terms like mid shot, long shot etc.
The most used camera movements, like pan, tilt, zoom in will also be introduced. They will learn how to conduct interviews, with / without a tripod.

The students will then plan and shoot. Everyone will get a chance to operate the camera.


Editing. (six into 2 hr sessions.)*

The principles of Non-linear Editing will be taught, with the help of clips from various films. Students will be introduced to an easy to use, professional Editing Software, Adobe Premier pro 2.0.

Capturing and watching the rushes, selecting the ok shots (sorting), and re-thinking of the structure of the edit. After this, we fine cut the film. Every student will learn the basic operations of the editing software. The theoretical aspects of Editing will be taught in conjunction with their practical application. When the film is done, we will convert the video to a web friendly format and upload it on You Tube.

A discussion on how to launch yourself as a documentary filmmaker on the net will end the one month workshop.

If students have their own cameras, or computers, they are welcome to bring them so that they can learn how to use their own equipment. However, it is not mandatory to bring your own equipment.

*( Whenever more time is required, for example in shooting, it can be planned on a weekend. Editing may also spill over.)

Teacher’s profiles

Manjushree Abhinav

I am an alumnus of FTII, (Film and Television Institute of India, Pune) and I have fifteen years of experience as a documentary filmmaker and Teacher.

I have made several documentary films for NGO’s in Ahmadabad and Delhi. I have taught at NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad) and at FTII.

To view one of my documentary films, click here., Blog :

Mehul Upadhyay

I am an Electronics Engineer. I have been exploring digital filmmkaing for last four years.I am holding position as Director (strategy & planning) for FTFM to spread visual literacy across the globe.

I have conducted successful Digital film making workshops at premier education institutes of India like IIM-Ahmadabad,IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Roorkee, BITs Pilani and other institutes. Recently I have conducted Advance level Digital film making workshop at IIT-Bombay which contains special effects stuff,advance camera movements and advance lighting.

Skills : Photography, sketching, editing, cinematography, direction, concept development, acting, all aspects of Digital Film making, poetry, cross platform sharing of multimedia softwares, online teaching.

Fields of Interest : dance, music, Interaction design, Web applications.


Akshay Surve said...

Looks promising :)

Best of luck !

Princess said...

Heyy guys..a thoughtful workshop for a'badis :) all the best !

Banno said...

Hey, good work. Hope it goes well.

Amudhan R.P. said...

Hi... the programme looks interesting. it is nice to see filmmakers still using premiere amidst the wave of fcp. i too prefer premiere.

all the best.

amudhan rp

gregory said...

is this the manju who used to come to tiruvannamalai? friends with rasa? godmother to hansraj? now married and making films?

in bangkok at the moment, looking through websites, saw yours...

back to india at the end of april...

what projects are next for you?

Grasshopper said...

Hi Gregory,
Are you the same Greg who is tall, well - built, likes to cycle, used to go to Ammachi, used to wear a ponytail, and who once said to me, 'You will come back to Tiru, if not for the mountain, for this baby,( when Hansraj was a baby)'?
HI, Greg, I am coming to Bangalore in May, and I will be visiting Tiru too.
Hope to see you sometime, welcome back to India...