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Welcome to our wiki for this Documentary Workshops!

* How to Post Your Movie Online *

Once you have completed your movie you are ready to share it! Follow these steps:

1. Compress your movie. If you need help, follow this link to learn how to compress it.
2. Go to our flickschool gallery and at the top menu click on "Upload"
3. Send us an email at flickschool@mac.com letting us know you have posted your film.

Because we have limited time, we hope this site will not only help guide you through the next 3 days but it is also here for you to reference outside of this workshop.

For all you non linear folks, here is a interactive mind map of this workshop.

Rules for the project you will create:


Pre Plan:


Before you start shooting your documentary it is a good idea to have your interviewee/talent sign a release form. You also want to do this when shooting on private locations. Here is a link to both a talent and location release.

Location Release
Talent Release


1 Start with an idea, goals, target audience, basic questions.
2 Agree on Project/Process parameters as a guide.
3 Assign roles to team.
4 Mind map ideas. What are product goals and what are process goals.
5 Have questions ready and approved by producers (teacher).

Planning is the most crucial part of your project. The more organized your production is, the smoother and faster your project will come together.
When researching your documentary it is important to filter information, know where your information is coming from. Whois.net is a site that allows you to find out who created the site you are using.


6 Find right location (Tip> light, location permission.)
7 Have your team setup while you talk to the interviewee.
8 Introduce the team to interviewee.
9 Mic the individual/ Interviewee.
10 Get camera angles right.
11 Get audio right. Make sure levels are good, not pinning.
12 Get lights right, use stand in to light.
13 Talk to the subject/interviewee, get them comfortable prior to interview. This helps the team with last minute adjustments.

Having someone talk to the interviewee while you set up makes him/her feel more comfortable. Testing your audio also ensures that you’ll have good sound and will prevent you from later having to level your audio. Lighting your scene correctly will also save you post-production time as well.

Rule of thirds

Most cameras come with an option of showing a grid (rule of thirds) that makes it easier to make sure you get your composition right.

For all of you using the Canon HV20 or 30 here are instructions on how to get the grid on your camera.
1. Hit the Function button on the back for the camera
2. Scroll down to the last icon (Menu) and hit the "Set" button
3. Scroll down to the Display Setup icon and hit the "set" button
4. Scroll to the Markers option and hit the "Set" button
5. Select the Grid option (grey or white) and hit the "Set" button


14 Shoot A-roll.
15 Finish A-roll. Record room tone for 1 min.
16 Make B-roll list for 2nd Unit/ 2nd take.
17 Gather tape/ footage. Sit and read notes from A-roll interview for B-roll guidelines.
18 Shoot B-roll from notes- get enough Coverage.
19 Finish shoot (loose ends, pick ups).

Secondary footage makes your project more interesting. No one wants to just stare at a person talking in a movie! Make your film interesting by adding some cool B-roll. Making a B-roll list ensures that you record footage that is pertinent to what the interviewee talks about and will make the editing process faster.


20 Look at shooting notes for instructions on what to capture. You may not need to capture all of footage.
21 Log footage, A roll: Transcribe what is said; B-roll: describe what is seen. Include W/M/CU abbreviations and What, Where, Who
22 Capture only needed footage from log and notes.
23 Print out Logs.
24 Save and Back Up content.

Canon HV30 Camera and Final Cut Pro Setup


Here is how you setup Final Cut Pro to read your camera (You are using Canon HV30 (or HV20) cameras for this class).

NOTE: These are the setting specific to the HV30 while shooting in 24p mode. These settings will vary depending on what camera you are using.

1. In Final Cut Pro > Easy Setup

2. You will get a "Easy Setup" window

3. In this window under "Format" choose " HDV" to narrow your
selections, and under "Rate" choose "23.98fps" because this is the rate of frames per second that the camera is set up for and the "Rate" will also narrow your selection for the "Use" option.

4. Under the "Use" choose "HDV 1080" because this is the set up of this camera.

Bringing in only your essential footage will save you disk space. Having less media to work with also means less editing. Logging footage will also make finding clips easier and faster. Printing your logs is also a good idea because it allows you to edit your movie on paper, saving you lots of time.


25 Sit down with the logs and search for common threads.
26 Group ideas into categories that resulted from logging. Group them into recognizable names that will work like idea containers.
27 Identify Key points (pearls) in each category. hi-lite or really BOLD the BIGGER QUOTES from the rest.
28 Start with a big pearl (engaging, BOLD idea) and end w/one build from one to the next. Identify the first and possible last quotes, ideas.
29 Finish your Pearl Necklaces. Create a rough order of quotes, ideas within each category/ idea container.

If you sit down and connect your ideas before you start editing, you’ll be able to construct a cohesive project. Building on one idea after another ensures that your project flows and that your audience can easily follow along.


30 FCP: In the timeline, begin to add A-roll in the order you’ve identified in the last process.
31 FCP: add Music/bed. Make sure its at least -18 db.
32 FCP : add B-roll.
33 FCP : Once all of the A-roll and B-roll is added, finish the layout and sequence of the movie.

Starting with you’re A-roll is important because by doing this, you lay out the story of your movie. The content, not the special effects you add, is the most important part of your film. Adding B-Roll makes your film more interesting.

Adding a marker is a useful thing to know in Final Cut. Below is a video that explains how to do this.


34 FCP / Color: Color correct
35 FCP / Motion: add Text: lower thirds, titles, credits, subtitles. These can be done on a word processor and by another person.
36 Spell Check
37 FCP / Soundtrack Pro: Normalize Audio

If you forgot to white balance or if your shot was too dark whie filming, color correction can help you fix this and make it look like nothing went wrong. Motion allows you to be more creative with the text and titles in your movie, and Soundtrack Pro allows you to fix the imperfections in your audio. These tools give you the opportunity to really fix your project and make it look the best you can.


38 Export from FCP
39 Compressor / Visual hub: Compress video for DVD, Web, Mobile
40 Post Online to Gallery, iWeb, Flickr, YouTube, Local Server
41 Finish and Market movie

Sharing our work is very important. Every video we work on no matter how short gets posted online. Click here to see some great resources for compressing your video for the web, your iPod and/or iPhone.

If you want to learn how to use the latest version of Compressor, version 3. Click here for step by step instructions.




Moviemaking Curriculum: Here is a link to Marco Torres's book he recently wrote for Apple on moviemaking in the classroom.
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Here is a link to our ongoing library of great resource that has tons of tips and tricks for not only video production but for photography and audio as well.
SFETT is a website where you can find the students body of work for the past 8 years. It's a great resource that has examples of documentaries ranging from a variety of topics.
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For all of you non-linear thinkers, here is an interactive mindmapping application called Personal Brain. This a great app for organizing your thoughts and planning your projects.