Focus on developing a documentary writing and editing style that will allow you to tell clear, dramatic stories

Much of a documentary's story is crafted in editing. This workshop is for freelance documentary filmmakers, video editors, and producers who want to understand the broad range of post-production possibilities for creating compelling documentaries. The class analyzes trends in contemporary programming and discusses technique and editing methodology. Students screen dailies from various documentaries and discuss story structure. Writing, the use of narration, music and sound effects, counter-point, and dramatic realism are explored, as well as the responsibility of the editor and director to maintain the highest ethical standards throughout the editing process. The emphasis is on developing story structure and a writing/editing style to tell clear, dramatic stories. Students are encouraged to bring their own projects for further development and critique.


Dana Rae Warren

Dana Rae Warren is a filmmaker, teacher, and consultant with 20 years in the national television documentary and independent film worlds. Her work includes: Producer Writer on the Peabody Award-winning and twice Emmy-nominatedTurner Broadcasting series Moon Shot; Producer Writer Director on multiple episodes for the PBS NOVA Science Nowseries, including profiles on MacArthur Awardee Edith Widder and National Medal of Science Awardee Lonnie Thompson, as well as on animal intelligence, and on the link between space and deep sea exploration; ongoing award-winning public service such as the tobacco-free campaign, Quit For Your Kids;Great Expectationsan education series, which aired on The Sundance Channel and was invited to present at Austin’s SXSW Education Conference.

Dana Rae also works as a Series Supervising Producer for television and Story Consultant, Script Consultant, and Consulting Producer for television and independent feature projects.  Examples include: the internationally shot weekly History Channel series Deep Sea Detectives (Series Supervising Producer); History’s 13-part series Tougher in Alaska(Series Consulting Producer and Episode Writer); NOVA’s Hubble’s Amazing Rescue (Script Consultant); and independent films such as the Egyptian film Words of Witness (Consulting Producer), which recently premiered at the Berlin Film Festival; the Welsh film Rabbit Hole, premiering at the Camden International Film Festival; and the Qatari film Once Upon a Time I Was.

For her independent films, Dana Rae often chronicles stories that unfold over long periods, including: Lou of Betty & Lou (ten years in the life of a 93-year-old);

Global Citizen, a small town Maine girl grows into international humanitarian worker (starting in Russia at age 14 and continuing through Afghanistan and Kosovo in the 1990s, and now the Middle East at age 40); Prisoner of the Past, about a Lewiston area Jewish-American WWII POW returning to the site of his capture; Her Game, a year in the life of the UMaine college women's basketball team (selected for IFP's Film Market); and Alleluia Junction: A Community Choir Journeys from Maine to Russia. 

Teaching, collaborating, and consulting, with both professionals and laypeople, is one of Dana Rae’s greatest pleasures. She enjoys using storytelling and the creative process to help individuals and organizations develop vision, goals, and narratives that serve them and communicate their identity.  She has worked with adults (as well as children of all ages) for schools and organizations such as The Sundance Institute's program at the International Film & Television School in Cuba, multiple Maine K-12 schools, the international school Maine Media Workshops, University of Southern Maine, University of Rhode Island, and Bates College, as well as corporate and federal entities.

Dana Rae serves on the Board of the Camden International Film Festival (and served as Committee Chair of CIFF’s Forum bringing film and television leaders together with filmmakers for intimate exploration of the craft and business of documentary). She was previously a Governor’s Appointee to the Maine Film Commission under two governors. Before filmmaking, Dana Rae worked in the social service field, including group homes for kids, and a hotline for women facing violence.

© Christian Randolph

Course Dates

Sep 27 to Oct 3



Class Size