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Jun 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Documentary Fundamentals Graphics, Music, and Transmedia Campaigns

With Adnaan Wasey, Kina Pickett, J. Ralph and Chai Vasarhelyi.

About Documentary Fundamentals Graphics, Music, and Transmedia:

How can title design and graphics be effectively utilized in documentary? What about my approach to music? What is transmedia and why should documentary filmmakers pay attention to it?  This session will dig in to graphics and music issues that come together during post production. We will also explore broad strokes of how to plan and execute transmedia campaigns.

Featured Presenters:

adnaan-waseyAdnaan Wasey (@adnaanwasey) is the Executive Producer of POV Digital, the Webby Award-winning department that drives storytelling innovation for the PBS documentary series POV (@povdocs). At POV, Adnaan oversees digital production, programming and licensing, the POV Hackathon lab and POV’s digital marketing. POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 33 Emmys, 17 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and three Academy Awards.

721807_300_400x400Kina Pickett is owner and executive producer of Helio & Company (www.wearehelio.com). Helio is a digital creative agency, specializing in storytelling and motion design. We tell stories. From napkin sketch to cinematic piece — it doesn’t matter which landscape, what product, whose purpose — story is everywhere and anywhere. Our passion is the creation of profound story; where we thrive is in the strategic selection of that story. This means research, concept, creation, execution. Platforms and leverage are our bread and butter, the everyday instruments for the content we create. We cultivate ideas into beautiful products: collaboratively working to create a complete, deployable package with a strategic preplan.

Brand ID in a digital world is all about motion design. Your logo is the single most important marker of your brand’s identity. We bridge the gap between analog and animation, and utilize the strengths of both depending on the opportunity, application, and core values of a brand. Motion graphics is a vehicle that delivers messaging across all branded content: commercials, digital shorts, title sequences, feature length projects. With beautifully crafted motion design, we help your brand separate itself in an ocean of standard, digitized work.

J.RalphJ. Ralph is an Academy Award nominated composer and producer from NYC whose music has sold more than 10 million records worldwide and reached the No.1 spot in over 22 countries. His career began with the signing to Atlantic Records as a recording artist and since then J. Ralph has written and produced the music for numerous Grammy Award winning artists, symphony orchestras, The United Nations, The President of The United States and more Oscar winning/nominated documentaries then any other composer in the history of the Academy Awards. Such films include Man On Wire, The Cove, Hell And Back Again, Chasing Ice, Finding Vivian Maier and Virunga. He is widely regarded for the original songs he writes and produces for these films such as the Oscar nominated “Before My Time” performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell, “Hell & Back” performed by Willie Nelson, “We Will Not Go” performed by Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita & Fally Ipupa and “Until The End” performed by Liza Minnelli & Wynton Marsalis. J. Ralph is the only composer to win two consecutive A.I.C.P. awards. Several of Mr. Ralph’s works are included in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection of film and media 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 28, 2015
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

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