Learn the basics of Documentary film producing in only 4 sessions! 


Documentary Producing Certificate Introductory Course

This Documentary Producing course is a four-part series of classes, each presenting a specific aspect, process, or skill involved in producing documentary films. This course is for anyone interested, whether or not you have any experience.


Date Range : Jan 30th- Feb 20th 2020

                      (Evenings, each Thursday 7:30pm) 


Location: New York City


Description: Why take the Documentary Producing Certificate Introductory Course


Producers have control over almost every aspect of a documentary film production.

They initiate and drive the movie forward, bringing together a production team, including the director, director of photography and sound. The producer’s primary responsibility is to guide a project from the idea to the screen. They lead the film from conception to producing the film, into distribution, marketing and beyond.


This four-part Documentary Producing Certificate Introductory Course will answer specific questions in key areas of producing, and explores the opportunities producers have today to develop, finance, budget and market a film. During each class you will learn skills essential to getting a documentary made and seen. To receive a certificate, attend all sessions. This Producer’s certificate class is taught by Producer and Director Lesya Kalynska.  


What will it cover?


1. Documentary Types


In this session, you will learn the various genres of documentary filmmaking. It is important to understand what type of documentary you are making before the start of production.


Topics include:

- Different types of documentary

- Comparisons of styles and techniques

- Film case study


2. Story Development


Making a documentary has many challenges and telling a story that is clear, emotional and effective is one of them. We will explore the many ways of shaping a documentary film. We will cover the three-act structure, plot, theme, and character. We will also discuss specific films as case studies.


Topics include:

- Identifying your topic and idea

- Working with characters and shaping your story

- Structuring a documentary



3. Documentary Budgeting


In this lesson we provide you with a practical understanding of the budgeting process. We will discuss how to create a realistic and professional budget based on the needs of your film.


Topics include:

 - Business basics

 - Categories, Line Items and Rates

 - Budgeting for preproduction, production and post production



4. Documentary Grants


Most documentaries rely on foundation grants, non-profits, arts organizations and the kindness of individual donors. Independent filmmakers rely on these funding sources to a great extent. The documentary funding landscape is very competitive and applying for grants to top funders can feel overwhelming and arduous. This session will discuss the many elements within a proposal, partnering with nonprofit organizations, and discuss the grant writing process so that you'll have the confidence in applying for grants.


Topics include:

- The Grant Application

- Finding the money

- What top funders look for in a proposal?

- Research and identify diverse resources for doc film funding


About the Instructor: Lesya Kalynska


Lesya Kalynska is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. Originally from Ukraine, she currently lives and works in New York City where she is the founder and Executive Director of the production company Pomegranate Studios. Kalynska earned her MFA in directing and writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her short narrative film “The Balloonist” was screened widely, winning the Best Student Film Award at the Hope and Dreams IFF in New Jersey. Her producing debut “The Debt”, directed by Levan Koguashvili, was an official selection at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. It won the production award at the First Run Film Festival in NYC as well as several prestigious awards at Manheim IFF, Hampton IFF, and the Los Angeles Annual Showcase “Award Winning Short Films.”


In 2011, she directed a TV documentary series entitled “Top Secret Level 18”. The film premiered in May 2011 on 1+1, a widely popular Ukrainian TV channel. Next she directed a short film “Helen”, which held its premiere at the Odessa International Film Festival. In 2013 Kalynska produced a feature documentary “Salt in The Air” by Enrico Cullen and co-produced a short narrative film “Ukrainian Lessons” by Ruslan Batytsky, for which the film received the Fipresci Award in 2013. Presently, Mrs. Kalynska is in post-production with the feature documentary “Bullet Catcher” about the Maidan protests in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv that led to the Revolution of Dignity and ended with the war in the eastern border of Ukraine. “Bullet Catcher” has received several grants from prominent supporters including the Sundance Film Institute, Bertha Doc Society Journalism Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund, Fritt Ord Fund (Norway), and many others.


Documentary Producing Certificate Introductory Course

$250.00 Regular Price
$225.00Sale Price

    ©2020 by The Collins Foundation for the Arts.