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Jun 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Documentary Fundamentals Editing

With Bob Eisenhardt, A.C.E., Tom Fleischman, Deborah Wallach and Chai Vasarhelyi.

About Documentary Fundamentals Editing:

How can documentary directors work effectively with editors, sound designers, and other essential post-production talent?  How does a story emerge from a pile of footage?  Can you really “fix it in post”?  What is an online edit and can you do it yourself?  How does a good sound designer work, and how does post-production sound enhance your documentary

Featured Presenters:

Editor Bob Eisenhardt, A.C.E. (Meru, Valentino: The Last Emperor, Living Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders, Shut Up & Sing Bearing Witness) and sound engineer, Tom Fleischman (Meru, The 50 Year Argument, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Stations of the Elevated, Gates of Heaven).

DSC00201Bob Eisenhardt is a three-time Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee with over sixty films to his credit. Recent films include WAGNER’S DREAM, which received an Emmy nomination for editing, VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR, DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP & SING, and LIVING EMERGENCY: STORIES OF DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS. His latest film, MERU, won the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was the closeding night selection at the Full Frame Film Festival. Currently he is editing the HBO film, EVERYTHING IS COPY, on the life of Nora Ephron.

Tom_Fleischman_photoTom Fleischman was born and raised in New York City, the son of legendary film editor Dede Allen and television documentary writer/producer/director Stephen Fleischman. Although Tom began his career in 1969 as an apprentice film editor, it was not until he went to work for Image Sound Studios in 1971 that he became truly interested in sound. At Image Sound he began by cataloging and creating a sound effects library and recording sound effects and foley. In 1973 Tom joined Trans/Audio Inc. where he worked in the transfer department and was given the opportunity to begin mixing under the tutelage of the well respected New York re-recording mixer Richard Vorisek. In 1979, he mixed his first commercial feature film, Jonathan Demme’s “Melvin And Howard”, and in 1981 he and Dick Vorisek were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound for their work on Warren Beatty’s, “Reds”. In 1985 Tom moved to Sound One where he continued to develop long-term working relationships with many illustrious directors, including Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Spike Lee, Barbet Schroeder, John Sayles, Warren Beatty, Oliver Stone, and Ron Howard. Over the next twenty years Tom earned Academy Award nominations for Demme’s, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs Of New York”(2002) and “The Aviator” (2004) for which he also won the Cinema Audio Society award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Television Series, and was most recently recognized by the Academy with an Oscar win for Scorsese’s “Hugo” in 2012. Tom has also won sound mixing Emmy Awards for Scorsese’s documentary, “Bob Dylan: No Direction Home” in 2010, and in 2013 won Emmys for the television series “Boardwalk Empire”, and Alex Gibney’s music documentary, “The History of the Eagles”. Tom’s home base for the past dozen years has been at Soundtrack Film & Television in the heart of Chelsea, NYC.

Deborah Over the past thirty years, Deborah Wallach has established herself as one of the most sought after sound editors in the film industry. With her roots in documentary picture editing, Deborah eventually made the move into audio post-production, focusing in particular on ADR work for feature films. She has collaborated with some of the most important directors in cinema – Ron Howard, Mike Nichols, Jonathan Demme, Julie Taymor – and her credits include the Oscar winning/nominated films Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/ Nixon, and Across the Universe (or Frida – since it had more nominations), as well as numerous award-winning documentaries. She lives and works in New York City.


About Documentary Fundamentals:

A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the beginning or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals @ UnionDocs is six-week course culminating in a certificate of completion. Registrants can also attend individual sessions. This curriculum developed out of our experience hearing what fundamentals documentarians need to understand to plan, produce, and release an independent documentary today.

Hosted by the Chai Vasarhelyi of Little Monster Films, Documentary Fundamentals is essential learning for the documentary filmmaker, covering business basics, fundraising and financing, production and post-production strategies, transmedia campaigns, sales and distribution models. Each session features guest speakers sharing tips and secrets of the trade, with an emphasis on real-life case studies and best practices. For 2015, the series will use the feature documentary Meru as a case study. Meru was co-directed by Vasarhelyi and premiered this year in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Full guest speaker list to be announced.

Documentary Fundamentals is designed for beginning or intermediate filmmakers with projects in any stage of development or production (even the daydreaming stage!).  Sessions combine formal presentations with extensive time for in-depth discussions with participants.

Registrants completing all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion, and will have special opportunities to promote their projects within the UnionDocs network.  Specific guests and topics are subject to change. 

Documentary Fundamentals Full Schedule:

FRI 6/26 – 7:00PM | Planning Your Documentary –

SAT 6/27 – 1:00PM | Financing Your Documentary –

SAT 6/27 – 4:00PM | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary –

SAT 6/27 – 7:00PM | Editing Your Documentary –

SUN 6/28 – 1:00PM | Graphics, Music, and Your Transmedia Campaign –

SUN 6/28 – 4:00PM | Releasing Your Documentary


chai-209x300Chai Vasarhelyi is an award-winning director and producer.  Her first film, A Normal Life, won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003.  Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, was released in theaters in the U.S. and internationally. The film premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Middle East International Film Festival in 2008 and a nomination for the Pare Lorentz Award at the 2009 International Documentary Association Awards.  Touba, a visceral documentary experience that takes the viewer through each step of the annual Mouride pilgrimage, the Grand Magaal in Touba, Senegal, premiered at SXSW 2013 where it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography.  She returned to Senegal in 2012 to document the heated Presidential elections.  Incorruptible (formerly An African Spring), the intense and unflinching story of Senegalese democracy is currently in post-production. She is also currently working on two American stories: The Home Front (formerly Little Troopers), a film about the impact of American soldiers’ deployments on their families left behind; and Father School, a glimpse into the Korean American movement towards becoming more in-touch fathers and husbands.  Vasarhelyi has received grants from several foundations including the Sundance Documentary Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, BRITDOC, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation.   She was selected as a 2013 Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2005 and received an Achievement Award from Creative Visions foundation in 2008.   She has been featured in numerous publications including, The New YorkerThe Wall Street JournalVogue and New York Magazine. Chai has a B.A. from Princeton University in Comparative Literature.


Workshop Policies:

Registration & Cancellation To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via PayPal. In the event a student must withdraw from a class, he or she may do so any time before the start of the workshop, and will receive a 75% refund of class costs. After this deadline, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.


Jun 27, 2015
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

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