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Shooting Documentary Short Films

with Griffin Hammond

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  •   05 How to Frame an Interview

    17:30

Class duration: 5h 17m

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    44 student reviews

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About The Class

DIY documentary-style shorts.


Today’s media landscape is largely made up of regular folks who know how to spot a good story and use basic gear to document the world around them. Find out how you can join their ranks and make compelling, marketable shorts in Shooting Documentary Short Films with Griffin Hammond. 

Griffin made a name for himself with the ode to an iconic hot sauce, Sriracha. In this class, he’ll teach you how to identify, shoot, and share documentary-style video. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize and tell a good story
  • Capture high-caliber footage with low-budget gear 
  • Incorporate all the essentials for online and TV news
  • Produce corporate work clients love
  • Find your audience and monetize your work

Griffin will share tips on lighting, framing, and interviewing subjects so you walk away with lots of usable footage. You’ll watch as Griffin shares clips from a one-day shoot and you’ll learn exactly what it takes to turnaround a complete documentary-style short on a deadline.

You’ll also learn a handful of helpful editing techniques and get insights on the ethical and legal responsibilities of documentary filmmaking.

If you want to learn how to tell meaningful stories that look great and sell, while working on a shoestring budget, don’t miss Shooting Documentary Short Films with Griffin Hammond. 

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Recognizing Good Stories

    24:27
  2. 02

    The Science of Good Storytelling

    15:56
  3. 03

    What's in My Camera Bag?

    50:27
  4. 04

    Essential Elements of TV News

    13:58
  5. 05

    How to Frame an Interview

    Griffin demonstrates how to set up an on-camera interview for a documentary film.

    17:30
  6. 06

    Setting Up Complex Framing

    09:34
  7. 07

    Setting Up The Camera & Recording Audio

    22:21
  8. 08

    Interview Questions That Yield Usable Answers

    15:25
  9. 09

    What Makes Good B-Roll & How to Capture It

    28:20
  10. 10

    Organizing Your B-Roll

    08:28
  11. 11

    Editing: J & L Cuts

    13:53
  12. 12

    Ethics of Documentary Editing

    15:14
  13. 13

    Distribution Platforms, Funding, & Building an Audience

    28:15
  14. 14

    Debunking Legal Myths

    10:54
  15. 15

    Final Film & Conversation w/ Editor Steven Cervantes

    21:09
  16. 16

    How to Find Work in the Industry

    21:33

Meet Your Expert

Griffin Hammond

Griffin Hammond is filmmaker covering political news at Bloomberg in New York City. He shot and edited the award-winning documentary Sriracha, and has published hundreds of low-budget filmmaking tutorials for aspiring filmmakers. Griffin studied film at New York University, earned a Masters from Illinois State University, and worked as a video producer at YouTube and State Farm. ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Syllabus - Shooting Documentary Short Films.pdf
  • pdf Recomended Viewing List Pre-Worshop.pdf
  • pdf Interviewing Check List Cheat Sheet.pdf
  • pdf The Essential Griffin Hammond Gear Guide.pdf
  • pdf Ultimate Film Festival Reference List.pdf
  • xlsx Ultimate Film Festival Reference List.xlsx

97% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Bruce Gruenbaum

    September 2017

    First off, if you have not watched Sriracha, go and do that. The techniques that Griffin used in it are pretty incredible. This course expands on those techniques and what really surprised me about this course is how simple the setup is that he uses to make some absolutely amazing documentaries. The quality of what you can produce with the most basic of equipment is really mind-boggling. Some of the most interesting stuff was about B-Roll and how to use it to create a visually interesting presentation. The idea of a lot of small clips that show specific information is invaluable. The techniques he uses to create shots like the one where the camera was placed on top of a cart and pushed down an aisle was amazing. More than anything else, the ideas and tips I came away with have helped me find ways of making my own videos much more interesting.

  • Creativelive Student

    June 2015

    Griffin is a great storyteller and I was hoping to learn a LOT from this class. But I didn't. I'm an experienced corporate video editor/shooter who's always dreamed of doing a documentary. About half of the class is the very basics of video production (b-roll, rule of thirds, good audio) and the other half is interesting content that seems to cut off just as it becomes engaging. I'm not sure why Creative Live edited it that way other than to extend the number of segments? Although the next segment doesn't seem to pick up where the previous left off. I've never felt that way before about CL, but it seems like every segment is cut right as it gets to things I'm interested in. It did have some great information about revenue streams for a short form documentary, but I was left wanting to learn more. If you're just starting out... this is a great resource to learn the basics of non-fiction filming. If you already work professionally in the field I would pass.

  • Ian O'Neill

    Ian O'Neill

    June 2015

    Great workshop delivered in a fantastic way - by Griffin and by CreateiveLive. Plenty of information for new and...not-so-young filmmakers. I've been applying what I learned from Griffin to my current work and already it's improved. So many poignant points that it's very difficult to zero in on a few. I love that he urged filmmakers to use the gear they already have. Griffin is not a gear hound and that is a great place to start. Learn storytelling with the gear you have now. There's really so much to glean from this experience that I'm still going over my notes. Great job Griffin!

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