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Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

via MasterClass


Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

Since its 2017 debut, Ken Burns’s The Vietnam War has enthralled over 39 million viewers by painting an intimate and revealing portrait of history. In this online film class, learn how Ken captivates audiences with his ability to distill vast research and complex truths into compelling narratives. From first treatment to final edit, Ken teaches his documentary filmmaking techniques that “wake the dead” to bring their stories to life.


Class Trailer
Class Sample
1. Introduction
2. What It Takes
3. Choosing Your Story
4. Finding Your Story Within The Subject
5. Telling A True Story
6. Treatments, Pitching, and Funding
7. Structuring a Documentary Narrative
8. Sourcing Archival Materials
9. Shaping Nonfiction Characters
10. Case Study: The Vietnam War Episode Boards
11. Writing a Script
12. Visual Storytelling: Cinematic Techniques
13. Visual Storytelling: Unforgivable Blackness Case Study
14. Selecting Interview Subjects
15. Conducting an Interview
16. Case Study: Navigating a Challenging Interview
17. Nonfiction Cinematography
18. The Power of Music
19. Editing: Process
20. Editing: Principles
21. Editing Case Study: The Vietnam War Introduction
22. Recording and Using Voice Over
23. Sound Design
24. The Artist's Responsibility
25. Sharing Your Film
26. Jump The Chasm

Taught by

Ken Burns

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