Short courses


Documentary Editing: An Introduction

  • 10 hours
  • Two days


On this two-day course you'll explore the art and craft of documentary editing, from creating visual narratives to working with sound, music and graphics. 

You'll have access to UCL's Public Anthropology editing suite to gain a practical introduction to Adobe Premier Pro, to gain the skills necessary to edit your first documentary project. 

Who this course is for

This course is for aspiring documentary filmmakers who have little or no familiarity with Adobe Premiere Pro and would like to get started on their first documentary project. 

Course content and structure

The course takes place over two consecutive Saturdays, 10.30am to 4.30pm,with a one-hour lunch break. You'll be taught through practical workshops, lectures and group discussions. 

Session 1

You'll begin by learning the nuts and bolts of Premiere Pro using Open City Docs’ editing suite. After learning about hard drive management, you'll look at starting a new project in Premiere, logging footage, and the basics of editing footage together.

You'll explore editing interviews, alongside editing observational footage. Using documentary footage, students will have a go at editing a scene.

Subjects you'll learn about are:

  • Hard drive management
  • Starting a new Premiere Project
  • Getting to know the interface
  • Importing the material
  • Logging footage
  • Building the timeline
  • Editing a sequence

Session 2

You'll  learn to create atmospheres using sound, and where and how to use music in film. The session will also cover basic sound correction, colour grading, graphics, and subtitling.

It will then discuss scripting and structuring, watching some short films and understanding different narrative techniques. You'll have a go at editing a short film.

Subjects covered are:

  • Sound editing: basic concepts
  • Sound design
  • Colour grading
  • Working with text and subtitles
  • Narrative techniques and storytelling
  • Paper editing and building a structure

If you have any enquiries regarding this course, please contact shortcourses@opencitylondon.com or call +44 (0)20 3108 4774.

Cost and concessions

The full price of the course is £300. 

There is a reduced price of £250 for UCL students, and £270 for students from elsewhere. 

Course team

Chloe White

Chloe White

Chloe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer and director of Whalebone Films based in Hastings and London, with frequent travels around the world to collect stories and images. Her films are intimate, considered portraits, focusing mainly on the female experience. Chloe's clients and partners include the Guardian, Topic, Nowness, BBC, Channel 4, Oxfam, Save the Children and the BFI and she has had films screen at festivals internationally including at Camden International Film Festival, Open City, and Sheffield Doc Fest. Chloe lectures in Documentary Film at UCL, and London College of Communications. She has also given talks and workshops at the BFI, Frontline Club, the Roundhouse and is a fellow of Macdowell. 

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:01