Documentary Production

I taught Documentary Production: An Editor’s Perspective in the Fall of 2016 and the Fall of 2014 at Colby College. I will teach it again in the Fall of 2017. In all these courses students created documentary videos for the Maine Food project. Please visit the course website to see the videos produced in the class.

In 2016 and 2017 we collaborated with Allen Island, which “is a 450 acre island located 5 miles south of Port Clyde, Maine. The island is owned and managed by the Up East Foundation. The island has commercial docks that support an active lobster fishery. The north end of the island has number of homes, a barn, and a bunk house for overnight guests. The south end of the island is undeveloped and accessed via a dirt road running through large tracks of native trees and fields grazed by 100 island sheep. The island was developed by Betsy Wyeth and was the inspiration for many of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings.” You can read about our class trip to island on the Allen Island website. While on the island students shot materials to edit a visual narrative.


A documentary comes to life in the editing room. In this course we will engage with various forms of documentary storytelling from an editor’s perspective. In addition to watching documentary films, students will produce and edit documentary videos. While attention will be paid to developing ideas and production, the class will focus most heavily on the editing phase of production. Time will be given to refine, recut and reedit the final documentary. Students will learn the art of the process, of revision and reimagining, as well as technical skills such as using a camera, shooting a scene, and interviewing techniques. Students will also develop their understanding and knowledge of the documentary genre in general.