Writing



Interviewing for Story (Online)
 


Interviews form the basis of most documentary projects, and what creators are able to unearth during interviews often has a profound effect on what they’re able to produce in the end—the more fruitful the dialogue, the richer the finished product. In this course, students will learn interviewing skills, including how to research and prepare, formulate questions, and ask effective follow-ups, as well as how to transcribe and edit, figure out what the story is, and otherwise make use of the content they glean. In addition to analyzing and discussing interviews and pieces that make use of them, students will practice interviewing on their own and explore different ways of bringing the material they gather to life. By the end, students will develop—and receive feedback on—a written profile or an audio, video, or captioned-photo project that incorporates the interviews they’ve conducted. They will walk away with the skills to interview effectively and the confidence and ability to tell deeper, more compelling stories. (12 hours / All levels)


Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

NOTE: There will be NO CLASS on Thursday, October 31.


Christina Cooke is associate editor at the daily food-policy website Civil Eats and a Durham-based freelance journalist who writes about people, place, and culture for venues including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Oxford American. Previously, she worked as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University and is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. christinacooke.com



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WR192SP20
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Cooke 2/20 - 4/2 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Documentary and the Three-Act Structure Workshop (Onsite and Online)
 

Documentarians are storytellers. Engaging audiences means developing strong narratives, clear subjects, and taking the viewer on a journey. This requires understanding the desires of a modern documentary audience and the structural tools that can help meet those needs. In this class, learn how three-act, Hollywood-style narrative structure may be applied to documentaries for maximum impact, and dissect film clips for the structure’s elements. Discover its application to your work, uncovering how to produce more resonant, more entertaining, and ultimately more memorable documentaries. Learn how structure helps you deliver more commercially viable documentaries, as well as how it can inform production concerns like budgets, timelines, and physical resources. Added value may be gained in pairing this course with Writing the Documentary Script. (6 hours / All levels)


Josh Dasal is an Emmy-winning film and television director-producer-writer, video marketer, and co-producer of the podcast, ArtCurious. He has created/consulted for outlets like Discovery Channel, PBS, Sony Screen Gems, and director Wes Craven, as well as producing content for businesses like IBM, ADP, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. He began teaching at the Center for Documentary Studies in 2010, and served as an instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Missouri State University. Josh holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-TV in screenwriting, and his work has screened at venues including the Mann Theatres on Hollywood Boulevard and the Director’s Guild. He is the founder of Kaboonki, a video and podcast production firm.



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VI152
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Dasal 3/21 - 3/21 Sa 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM $180.00 View

Interviewing for Documentary (Onsite and Online)
 


Documentaries of any sort often live and die on the interview. It’s expected. But what makes the difference between a good interview and a great interview? And what is the proper role of an interview in a documentary? This class will examine the documentarian’s role in crafting and executing a solid interview that adds to their project. Topics covered will include types of interviews, crafting strong questions, interviewee prep, basic lighting and sound, interviewer best practices, dealing with transcripts, and working with reluctant subjects. A great course for video and audio documentarians.


Josh Dasal is an Emmy-winning film and television director-producer-writer, video marketer, and co-producer of the podcast ArtCurious. He has created/consulted for outlets like Discovery Channel, PBS, Sony Screen Gems, and director Wes Craven, as well as producing content for businesses like IBM, ADP, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. He began teaching at the Center for Documentary Studies in 2010, and served as an instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Missouri State University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinema–TV in screenwriting, and his work has screened at venues including the Mann Theatres on Hollywood Boulevard and the Director’s Guild. He is the founder of Kaboonki, a video and podcast production firm.



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INTD
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Dasal 5/30 - 5/30 Sa 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM $160.00 View

Master Class: Nonfiction Writing
 


 
This workshop brings students together with professional writers and editors for an intense week of collaborative discussion, revision, and writing. Students in the workshop will read and discuss the ongoing projects of fellow students, work individually with the instructors to refine and shape their own projects, and participate in readings and round-table discussions with top figures in the publishing world. Throughout the week, students will have the space and time for sustained, concentrated writing, as well as access to the world-class Duke University Libraries system. This is a workshop on craft, structure, and the art of writing great nonfiction, and a rare opportunity to be guided closely by top editors and writers. (38 hours)

Haven Kimmel is the author of eight books: Two memoirs, the #1 New York Times bestseller A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch, and Other Heroic Tales from Mooreland, Indiana; four novels; and two books for children. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in creative writing and studied with the novelist Lee Smith at North Carolina State University. She is currently working on a horror novel and a non-fiction collection of essays about Quakerism. She lives in Durham.

Janine Latus is a freelance journalist and the author of If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation, which made bestseller lists in New York, London, and Toronto. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a former board member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her work has appeared in Discover, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents, Fitness, More, and dozens of other magazines and websites. She is at work on her second book, about her recent year living as a nomad.

Barry Yeoman is a Durham-based freelance magazine journalist whose recent work has appeared in The American Prospect, Saturday Evening Post, onEarth, Audubon, and Parade. He is the author of “The Gutbucket King,” a longform multimedia profile of New Orleans bluesman Little Freddie King, published by The New New South. He specializes in putting human faces on complex social, political, and environmental issues. His website is barryyeoman.com.

Additional information:
The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and all lunches during the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

 

Section A
Taught by Barry Yeoman and Haven Kimmel
Sunday, June 7: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, June 8–11: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, June 12: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

 

Section B
Taught by Barry Yeoman and Janine Latus
Sunday, August 3: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Thursday, August 4–6: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, August 7: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

 


Friday's sessions conclude with a public presentation of student work.

See the course blog for a schedule, information on housing options, and more.



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WR535SU20A
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Yeoman 6/7 - 6/12 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su Varied $750.00 View
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WR535SU20B
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Library
Yeoman 8/2 - 8/7 Mo Tu We Th Fr Su Varied $750.00 View

The Nonfiction Story: Beginning to End (Online)
 


This class explores the rudiments of documentary storytelling, with the goal of taking you from the stage of having an idea to crafting something presentable and publishable. Since all narrative possesses the same formal characteristics regardless of genre, we will study examples of film and audio documentary as well as writing, covering such topics as how to utilize interview testimony; introducing character; foreshadowing; planting a hook; exposition; surface text versus subtext; the problem of pacing; endings and resolution; and revision. The instructor closely monitors your progress and drafts, making sure that by the end of the eighth week your piece is done. Syllabus includes readings by Toni Morrison and Colson Whitehead; episodes from the Criminal and Home of the Brave podcasts; and films by Barbara Kopple and Raoul Peck. (12 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

Benjamin Hedin is a Grammy-nominated film producer and the author of In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now. He also edited one of the most widely respected anthologies of music writing, Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader. His work has been published by the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, the Nation, the Oxford American, the Chicago Tribune, Poets and Writers, and more.

Additional Information:
The class will be conducted online. A late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully in virtual meetings.

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WR213oSP20
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Hedin 4/1 - 5/20 We 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $300.00 View

Writing About Trauma, Conflict, and Loss (Online)
 

Flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, October, 2016. Photo by Sharon Raynor.

Trauma survivors often sense a loss of control over their own lives and circumstances and feel deeply conflicted due to a changed sense of self, a changed way of relating to others, and a changed worldview. This course will deepen and broaden our understanding of how trauma, conflict, and loss are intertwined, and what it means to write about and document these entities in the “post-traumatic age.” Students will discuss strategies for producing writings that recapture the past, face the loss, and reconcile two conflicting realities—the one destroyed by trauma and the one that is different, yet remains. Students will also focus on the evolution of these narratives. (6 hours / All levels)


Dr. Sharon D. Raynor, Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts and a Professor of English at Elizabeth City State University, focuses on documenting stories of war, trauma and silence in African American communities, which is the subject of the short documentary film and enhanced eBook The Silence of War (thesilenceofwar.org) about African American Vietnam Veterans in Eastern North Carolina. She has held fellowships at Duke University, W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, and the United States Air Force Academy. Her current projects include a book manuscript on practicing oral history with war veterans with Routledge Press and a co-edited book volume on teaching race with SUNY Press.



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WR206o
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Raynor 2/29 - 3/1 Sa Su 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM $210.00 View

Writing the Documentary Script (Onsite and Online)
 
Your documentary films can be scripted! A well-written script can be key to structuring your film. Structure can make not only the difference between a bad film and a good film, but between a good film and a great one. To create a documentary that’s coherent in post-production, your pre-production needs to be equally coherent. One of the best ways to organize one’s research, explore new ideas, and more accurately plan for the unexpected is to write a documentary script. In this one-day workshop, students will learn the basics of writing the documentary script, including the conceptual and practical theory behind script construction, the role of story in documentary filmmaking, and proper A/V script formatting. We’ll learn the best ways to outline scenes and analyze existing A/V scripts for production and post-production needs. And we’ll use widely available script writing software which you will then use in practical exercises that demonstrate how to translate your written documentaries from script to screen. Added value may be gained by pairing this course with Documentary and Three-Act Structure. (5 hours/All Levels)

Please note: This is a hybrid onsite/online class. Distance students will participate via teleconference.

Joshua Dasal has taught at CDS since 2010. He is an Emmy- and Silver Telly–winning director, producer, screenwriter, and video marketer. A master’s graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, he has created projects and/or consulted for Discovery Channel, PBS, Sony Screen Gems, and director Wes Craven. He has taught filmmaking courses at UNC-Chapel Hill and Missouri State University, and his films have screened at venues like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Director’s Guild of America, and USC’s First Look Film Festival. He is the owner and chief creative officer of Kaboonki Creative, a video production and marketing firm based in Raleigh.

Additional information:
To participate from off-site, a late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully.

There will be a one-hour break for lunch.

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VI146
Center for Documentary Studies
Room 201
Dasal 5/16 - 5/16 Sa 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM $160.00 View