Just like films, documentaries come in all shapes and sizes. Scottish filmmaker John Grierson first coined the term documentary in 1926 and defined it as ‘a creative treatment of actuality’. These days we document almost everything with our smartphones, but to create a truly captivating documentary you have to go through a number of steps. First of all, you need a story that you want to tell, then you create a storyboard and interviews, which are then developed into a script. This script is filmed and then the film is edited. Montage is one of the most important tools a filmmaker uses to express themselves and tell a story. Using sounds such as music, background noise and commentary is an important editing element in a documentary.

In this course, you will make a short documentary about a topic of your choice. This will involve everything from researching a topic to writing an interview script and finally montaging and editing the documentary. You will learn to film with an HD video camera, acquire knowledge about different kinds of documentary styles and learn about camera techniques and perspective.

During this course, you can decide whether you want to work on your own or in a group. You will learn how to tell a compelling story through narrative shots, sound and facts, how to plan a storyboard and how to create different interview scenarios.

You then learn how to edit the scenes in Adobe Premiere or similar editing software. Several computers are available for this, but having your own laptop with the programme is handy should you wish to work on your documentary at home. During editing, you can work in pairs, so you can help each other edit the documentary in your own way. You can then record commentary, music and/or sound, titles, names and/or text. All this will result in your own short documentary, which you can of course choose to develop further on your own!

Schedule & enrolment


Jeroen Graus

Jeroen studied painting and video arts at the Royal Academy of fine arts in The Hague. He is also educated as a teacher in fine arts at the Willem de Kooning Academy.