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Jun 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm


With Rosemary Rotondi, Penny Lane and Robert Miller. Hosted by David Felix Sutcliffe and Christopher St. John.

About Documentary Fundamentals: Graphics, Music, Archive

What should I know about integrating music in my film or working with a composer? How can title design, graphics and animation be effectively utilized in documentary? What do I need to know about using archive materials? This session will dig into graphics, music and archival issues that come together during post production.

Featured Presenters:

Robert MillerRobert Miller is a prolific composer of music for film, television and the concert hall, with a career spanning some 23 years. His distinctive style has made its mark on well over 2,000 commercials, a growing body of some 40 film scores, as well as numerous works for the stage. Over the years, his work has garnered him seven CLIO awards, two AICP awards, two Emmy “group” nominations for the Coca-Cola spot “It’s Mine” and Mercedes’ “Modern Ark,” as well as collective Emmys for Coca-Cola’s “Heist” and the ESPN 30 for 30 film “Survive and Advance.” He was most recently nominated for a 2016 Emmy for Best Original Score for the ESPN 30 for 30 film, “Of Miracles and Men,” directed by Jonathan Hock, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Long Sports Documentary. Most recently, Robert scored the exciting new Science/Discovery documentary series Secret Space Escapes, featuring astronauts’ harrowing tales of survival amid near-disasters in space. This is Robert’s second major series for Discovery following his scoring of the 2011 award-winning series for Discovery/Dreamworks entitled “The Rising,” which documented the rebuilding of the World Trade Center and was executively produced by Steven Spielberg. This spring, Robert scored “Believeland” and “Gonzo,” ESPN’s latest in their Emmy award-winning 30 for 30 film series. Robert has now scored eleven 30 for 30 films, including the Emmy-winning “Survive and Advance” and “Of Miracles and Men.” Other notable film scores by Robert include the multiple-award-winning 2015 documentary (T)ERROR, the critically-acclaimed Teeth, deemed “one of the most talked-about films at the Sundance Film Festival” in 2007, as well as Mark Levinson’s “Particle Fever,” the third top-grossing documentary of 2014, centering around the historical achievements of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and their discovery of the so-called “God particle.” Robert is also currently working on an exciting film project for the History Channel about LBJ, due to premiere this spring. Miller was formally trained at the Mannes College of Music in New York City and was mentored privately by American Masters William Schuman, Aaron Copland and Edgar David Grana. He was the Composer-In-Residence with the New York-based Jupiter Symphony from 1996-1999, where he premiered six new concert pieces. Although he is a composer with deeply “American” roots, his compositions often reflect his love for a wide variety of genres and contemporary musical colors which result in unique “fusions.”

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Rosemary Rotondi is an archival film, photo, headlines and network news researcher. Highlights of her work as researcher have been working as the network new researcher for Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR and her latest documentary entitled RISK, which premiered recently in the Cannes Film Festival. Citizenfour won the Academy Award in February 2015. Rosemary also served as photo, text and network news researcher for Charles Ferguson’s INSIDE JOB, Academy Award Winner 2011. Rosemary served as lead researcher on Matt Wolf’s films: TEENAGE (2014) and IT’S ME HILARY: THE MAN WHO DREW ELOISE (2015). TEENAGE was nominated in 2015 by FOCAL (Federation of Commercial AudioVisual Libraries) in London for “Best Use of Archival Film in a Cinema Release”. Recently Rosemary served as lead researcher for National Geographic Channel’s 4-part series premiering on June 5, 2016 named I AM REBEL, created by Matt Wolf and Doug Liman. Rosemary worked as researcher for the American Museum of Natural History 2014-2015, performing photo, footage and licensing work on four exhibitions in one single year. Rosemary worked on Penny Lane’s documentary film, OUR NIXON, which premiered in 2013. Rosemary worked on Brendan Toller’s DANNY SAYS, a documentary about punk/rock manager and publicist Danny Fields, which premiered in the Lincoln Center Film Society’s SOUND & VISION festival on July 29, 2015. Rosemary worked with Albert Maysles on his penultimate documentary IRIS (2015) about Iris Apfel, currently being shown worldwide.  Rosemary worked as researcher for documentary filmmaker David Shapiro on his film, MISSING PEOPLE, which won The Hamptons International Film Festival for Best Documentary Film of 2015; this film premiered in NYC at DOCNYC in November 2015.

Her full credits list is available at: www.archivalfilmresearch.com


Penny Lane vertical hires Penny Lane’s film NUTS! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a special jury award for editing. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Her debut feature-length documentary, Our Nixon, world premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. The film is currently in wide distribution, and has aired on CNN, ARTE and television outlets worldwide. Her second feature-length documentary, NUTS!, world-premiered in competition at Sundance in January 2016 where it won a Special Jury Prize for Editing. She has been awarded grants from Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” At the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. Penny is currently a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn when she is not working on new films. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.

About Documentary Fundamentals:

A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals @ UnionDocs is a six-part program taking place over the course of one weekend. 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 (T)ERROR’s co-director David Felix Sutcliffe and producer Christopher St. John, 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 2016, the series will use the feature documentary (T)ERROR as a case study. (T)ERROR was co-directed by Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral, and produced by Christopher St. John. It premiered in competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Award for Break Out First Feature. The film also screened at Full Frame (Grand Jury Prize), True/False, Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs, Human Rights Watch and CPH:DOX, among others. It received grants from the most prestigious granting institutions such as ITVS, Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg, Tribeca Film Institute, Firelight Media, NYSCA, Pare Lorentz/IDA and Bertha BritDoc, and participated in pitch forums and film labs such as IDFA Pitch Forum, Tribeca All Access (won Creative Promise Award), IFP, and the Sundance editing and producing labs.

Documentary Fundamentals is designed for filmmakers with projects at 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 have special opportunities to promote their projects within the UnionDocs network.  

Full guest speaker list to be announced. Specific guests and topics are subject to change.

Documentary Fundamentals Full Schedule:

FRI 6/24 – 7:30PM | Planning Your Documentary – with attorney Fernando Ramírez (Law Office of Fernando Ramírez), Yoruba Richen (The New Black) and Christopher St. John (T)ERROR)

SAT 6/25 – 11:00AM | Financing Your Documentary – with José Rodríguez (Director of Documentary Programs, Tribeca Film Institute), Elise McCave (Deputy Director of BRITDOC), Tamir Muhammad (Director of Content & Artist Development, Time Warner)

SAT 6/25 – 2:30PM | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary – Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Thank You for Playing, Call Me Kuchu) and David Felix Sutcliffe (T)ERROR)

SAT 6/25 – 5:00PM | Editing Your Documentary – with editor Mona Davis (The Farm: Angola USA)  Nyneve Laura Minnear ((T)ERROR, Girl With Black Balloons),  and colorist Eric Alvarado ((T)ERROR, Mala, Mala)

SUN 6/26 – 1:00PM |Post: Graphics, Music, Archive – with composer Robert Miller ((T)ERROR, Particle Fever) and Rosemary Rotondi (Citizenfour, Our Nixon), Penny Lane (NUTS!, Our Nixon)

SUN 6/26 – 4:00PM | Releasing Your Documentary – David Reilly (Programmer BAMcinématek) and Merrill Sterritt (Head of Audience Strategies Cinereach) and Dan Berger (President of Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Purchase a full series pass at: http://www.uniondocs.org/documentary-fundamentals-2016/

About the Hosts:

Sutcliffe_David Felix

David Felix Sutcliffe is a Sundance award winning documentary filmmaker. In 2013, he was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” His first film, ADAMA (PBS, 2011), is an hour-long documentary that explores the story of a 16-year-old Muslim girl growing up in Harlem who was arrested by the FBI on suspicion of being a “potential suicide bomber.” (T)ERROR, co-directed with acclaimed photojournalist Lyric R. Cabral, is his feature-length documentary debut, and marks the first time that filmmakers have had access to an active FBI informant in a domestic counterterrorism investigation. (T)ERROR premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. Along with (T)ERROR co-director Cabral, Sutcliffe was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award. In 2014, he was selected as a fellow for the Sundance Institute’s Edit and Story Lab, as well as their Creative Producing Lab. His work as a filmmaker has been funded by the BBC, the NEA, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, and the Independent Television Service.

5602bff122592Lyric R. Cabral is a New York-based filmmaker and photojournalist who documents stories seldom seen in mainstream media. In support of her verité work, Cabral has received artist grants from BBC Storyville, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, the Independent Television Service, NYSCA, the International Documentary Association, and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Cabral recently completed (T)ERROR, her first feature length documentary, co-directed with David Felix Sutcliffe, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. Cabral, along with co-director Sutcliffe, was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award. (T)ERROR was also a recipient of the 2013 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, awarded by the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. In 2013, Cabral was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Her photography has been recently published through Aperture Foundation, National Geographic Channel UK, the Nation, and the Village Voice, and is currently on exhibition with “Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument.”


Christopher St. John (The House I Live In, Reagan, Freakonomics) is a producer and journalist with broad experience in print, broadcast and documentary film. He began his career in production at ABC News, working for Good Morning America before moving to the News Magazine division, where he contributed extensively to 20/20 and Primetime. Prior to producing (T)ERROR, he produced THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (BBC/ITVS, 2012), which won the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and received wide theatrical release in the fall of 2012. Christopher also co-produced FREAKONOMICS (Magnolia, 2010) and the Emmy Award winning REAGAN (HBO, 2011). Prior to entering production, he served as a regional correspondent in Southeast Asia for a number of US and international publications.


Workshop Policies:

Registration & Cancellation To register for a workshop, participants must pay in full via PayPal. In the event a participant 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. Participants 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, participants 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 26, 2016
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

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