Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What structure can do for you?

Save you a ton 'o money - that's what.

When you get clear about what it is you want to say, and the best structure to provide the most satisfying experience for the viewer of your very real and organic "hero" then the gifts are many.

You know what it is you want BEFORE you start looking for archives, doing lots of expert interviews or travelling around the world. OF COURSE you are always looking for the amazing spontaneous moment, or that gift of footage you had no idea about - and your structure won't get in the way of that - in fact, your structure will help you burrow your way into what is most dramatic, and help you discover what speaks to the real struggle at the heart of your film.

By working your way through the structure before hand, you are free to know what to shoot and where, and how to be open to what is coming your way.

Students in class this week really immersed themselves in the process of finding out the main beats of their story. It's terrifically exciting to see them make such fast progress, and to see them really start to get how their structure is helping them.

Some are using what they've discovered to write grants, or as the basis for their fund raising trailer, and others will be starting their film with a clear eyed idea of what they need and how it will work.

All this is super helpful in the long run as documentaries can sometimes take a very long time to make - and often require a sort of stop/start relationship as we work out our funding, and work at our own jobs etc.

I will be starting an online version of this course in the first week after labor day, and starting another actual class in Los Angeles. I would like your feedback as to preferred class times - so please email me at to let me know your thoughts on attending etc.

The class is usually $349 per month - but for people emailing me from my blog, the price will be $300.

This includes 4 class meetings a month, with the option to meet privately if you would otherwise miss a session, unlimited email correspondence, phone calls, and a take home assignments each week to empower you to make quick progress on your project.

If you compare the price of $300 for one month's full access to your project on the part of an award winning writer and editor, to the price of a week of editing - you'll see that spending slightly less than a day of editing now, will save you on shooting days, archival days and may even help you get more funding due to your new found clarity on your production.

Okay - yesterday we practiced pitching. Here is what you need for your elevator pitch:

A quick description of WHAT happens, complete with terrific antagonist.
The Point of View of Your FILM
The STYLE of the film.

Practice with friends!

I look forward to your emails! Thanks so much! Stephanie.

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