Shooting Documentary: an Introduction

  • 24 hours
  • 3 days over 3 weekends
  • 27 April 2019


On this three-day course you'll learn the camera skills you need to shoot film in the documentary style.

The course is taught through a series of hands-on exercises that increase in complexity over the three days.

You'll have access to professional camera and sound equipment for the duration of the course, as well as access to the edit suite following the course.

The course runs on three consecutive Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm.

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Course content

Through a series of camera exercises you'll learn the following filmmaking skills:

  • hand-held shooting technique using a professional video camera
  • how to use a tripod
  • intelligent use of automatic controls
  • getting good sound for interviews
  • filming a sequence
  • filming uncontrolled action
  • filming for the edit

The course is led by filmmaker Romain Beck who will go though the editing process with raw material and explain why certain choices were made in bringing together a scene.

Who this course is for

Film camera

This course is suitable for beginners. 

There are no pre-requisites required to apply for this course.

Benefits of taking this course

Taking this course you'll:

  • be taught by a professional documentary filmmaker
  • have access to professional camera equipment
  • have unique access to a filmmaker and her editor, who'll guide you through how footage can then be used in the edit
  • have access to use the media lab and editing software at UCL after the course has finished

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you'll have an understanding of how to:

  • use a hand-held professional video camera
  • get good sound 
  • film a sequence
  • film uncontrolled action

You'll also have an understanding of what it means to ‘film for the edit’.

Cost and concessions

This course costs:

  • £300 - full price (external applicants who are non students)
  • £270 - external students
  • £250 - UCL students

Sign up for short course announcements: Subscribe to the UCL Life Learning newsletter to receive news and updates on courses in your chosen area. (For updates on a specific course, contact the administrator - see 'Contact information'.)

Course team

Romain Beck

Romain has a background in Fine Art and Theatre and started out as an editor nine years ago. His recent work includes 'The Watchmaker' (South by Southwest, Hot Docs), 'Larryland' and 'Disastro' (Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival and The Whitechapel Gallery). He also has an extended experience in working for television, editing programs for CNN and Manoto. He was a visiting tutor at Kampala film school for their undergraduate program where he also shot music videos for local artists and campaign videos for NGO.

Course information last modified: 08 Mar 2019, 12:16