Documentary Filmmaking Workshop

Laced with examples through film clips, extracts, interviews and film illustrations suited for the various aspects in discussion and interaction, the following workshops aims to be a comprehensive, experiential and inspiring course for filmmakers at Level 1.

Through exercises and assignments given during the workshop, the course offers and insightful, hands-on and delightful dimension to the otherwise largely academic aspects of filmmaking.

The end goal of the course is to get the participants to make films … at least one short film, to begin with, which they can send to festivals, monetise and consider their calling cards with greater ideas and scripts for proper, regular films and other audio-visual endeavours.
Conducted by

Brahmanand S Siingh

Brahmanand S Siingh, a National-Award winning filmmaker, has been vastly recognized for his experiential and inspirational biopics on iconic legends like RD Burman and Jagjit Singh Pancham Unmixed & Kaagaz Ki Kashti), movies that have acquired a cult status, in addition to social and emotional cause-based films like Jhalki, a stor y of hope, courage, compassion and self-belief against the backdrop of a story of lost childhood & human trafficking. Many other films like Riding on a unbeam, Through our Eyes, Ashgari Bai, Ragpickers, Uncaging the Body and A Burden of Love continue to be popular and loved.

He has been invited to be on the Jury, film and script selection committee of various International Film Festivals and award platforms. He also conducts filmmaking and scriptwriting workshops in film festivals and institutes. In-the-pipeline projects like Surmayee Shaam on father-son bonding against an Alzheimer's backdrop, Sweet Blasphemy with Rumi as a backdrop, The Dream Teller, with an occult world backdrop of Spiritual communication and practical life; Kindness Series, Legacy Series and a series of hundred 90-120 minute well-researched, and well-told Biopics Series of Iconic figures, along with many other films.

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What the Workshop will comprise of:
  • The genre – the subjective and objective approaches
  • Documentaries today 
  • Defining Documentary – Understanding it as a means of communication
  • Understanding Documentary as a subset of nonfiction
  • What it takes to creating a deeper impact
  • What is a good story?
  • What is the craft of storytelling in documentaries?
  • Who tells documentary stories
  • Your core urge to express through this medium, in this format 
  • Why are you making it 
  • Who wants documentaries
  • It’s ever-increasing scope as of today 
  • Compelling stories and subjects
  • How to find what resonates with you
  • And where to find them
  • Evaluating Documentary ideas 
  • Passion & Curiosity
  • Resonance with who you are
  • Access & Feasibility
  • Audience Relevance – limitations and scope
  • Identifying the appropriate format and methodology
  • Docudrama, Recreations, Narration etc.
  • Envisioning them creatively before getting down to the creative writing & operational nitty-gritty
  • How to ask appropriate and relevant questions
  • How to dig deeper 
  • Where and how to look for advisors and supporters 
  • How to use personal contacts, phone and net 
  • How to engage in research beyond net for authenticity and unique perspectives
  • Finding a story – serendipity / access / passion & curiosity / relevance / visualization / hook / a film that you would want to see / embracing limits, working backwards
  • Cross-checking facts, opinions, ideas
  • Looking for emotional connects
  • Organizing them all into usable material 
  • Story basics – exposition / theme / arc /plot & character / POV & detail / good story well-told / emotional impact
  • Story structure – act / inciting incident / backstory / linear – nonlinear / interviews
  • Time on screen – collapsing & expanding time
  • Creative approach – archival filmmaking / recreations / docudrama
  • Who to feature – people, experts, non-experts, opposing voices
  • Creating a balance
  • Expanding perspectives
  • Emotional hook providers
  • Outlines 
  • PoVs in shooting
  • Unique takes or stand-out approach 
  • Structuring 
  • Exposition, theme, arc 
  • Dramatic story telling – how to tell an active and engaging story 
  • Treatments and pre-shoot scripts
  • Reflections / Evaluation / Feedback on work done so far
  • Choosing where to spend and where to save
  • Intelligent budgeting 
  • Non-compromised budgeting
  • Low & Micro-budgeting 
  • Discount filmmaking
  • Beg & Barter
  • Regular, businesslike approach
  • Writing proposals /presentations that make an impact
  • Introduction, rationale, objectives, history, POA, treatment, budget, extra pointers, emotional connect
  • Pitching – Tailoring them to those who we may pitch it to
  • Who to pitch to, at what stage 
  • How to engage them to the maximum
  • fundraising proposals – nature of the request / intro to the subject / rationale/ goals & objective / related projects / ancillary projects / audience & broadcast prospects / organization history / project staff / plan of work / budget
  • Funding platforms -formal & informal; sources, directories and basic ideas
  • Streamlined Plans
  • Equipment & Crew -access, availability, rent-purchase and the handling of them all for maximum and best results
  • Casting and Rights, if required 
  • Shooting – Check points: Dos & Don’ts
  • Shooting with and without story in mind
  • Shooting with or without edit in mind
  • Creative visuals
  • Tone and style – Visual and Audio; managing consistency
  • Proper & safe audio, and the role it plays in a good film
  • Interviews – Set up & Frames
  • Art of conducting good interviews
  • Finding / Modifying / Changing the story during the production 
  • Applying film structure 
  • Telling chronological story but not chronologically
  • Collapsing and expanding time
  • Sequences / Acts / Inciting or defining points of the film, PoV, Back story etc.
  • If using narration, consideration of aspects like why, when to write, who writes 
  • Writing to picture 
  • Writing for spoken
  • Checks
  • Anticipation / clichés / active-passive voice etc.
  • Editing plan
  • Editing stages
  • Viewing and logging, Sorting into bins, assembling a rough cut, finding the missing links and shooting or managing accordingly
  • Final cut and polishing it, locking it for technicalities
  • Technical musts before considering it final
  • Subtitling – Dos and Don’ts
  • Subtitling stages spotting, transliterating, and then breaking it according to time spots, proofing, cross-checking
  • Festival Route
  • Being your own PR person or engaging someone for it
  • Getting the right people to see your film
  • Word-of-mouth publicity
  • Critical recognition
  • Coming soon suspense
  • Self-distribution
  • Internet / Satellite / Home Video / Ancillary Markets
  • Profits
  • Perspectives larger than profits
  • Tip-offs for jumping into a big world of filmmaking

Workshop fees: INR 2,000/- per participant


Passes available at


Dates and Timings

1st to 9th August, 2019
11:00 am to 9:00 pm



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