This session of DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS is about shooting and directing your next documentary. Filmmakers produce and shoot in a wide variety of locations under many different practical, financial, technical and legal constraints. What kind of equipment do you need? Who do you need on your production team? How do you deal with emergencies during shooting and how do you pick out a camera and DP? Should I be thinking of archival material in advance?
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May 28, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Documentary Fundamentals: Shooting and Directing
With Jessica Kingdon, Maggie Li & Elizabeth Lo
Buy a Series Pass
DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS: A professional development series designed to give the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker an inside look at the filmmaking process from pre-production planning to post-production and distribution. Over the past few years, UnionDocs has developed this ongoing program for documentarians that desire a better foundation for navigating the modern landscape of independent filmmaking. This six-part program takes place over the course of one weekend at UnionDocs. Buy a SERIES PASS ($125) or choose to attend individual sessions ($25/each).
Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director/producer named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and selected for the 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list. Her work has been supported by organizations including SFFILM, Chicken & Egg, Cinereach, Sundance, Field of Vision, and Firelight Media. Jessica has served in producorial roles on Tania Cypriano’s BORN TO BE (NYFF 2019), Nathan Truesdell’s THE WATER SLIDE (True/False 2018), and Johnny Ma’s OLD STONE (Berlinale 2016). Residencies include UnionDocs and a MacDowell Fellowship. She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
Jessica Kingdon’s first documentary feature ASCENSION 登楼叹 (2021), won a nomination at the 94th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category as well as Best Documentary at the Tribeca Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. The film has received nominations from the the DGA Awards, Spirit Awards, the Gotham and the International Documentary Association along with five Cinema Eye nominations and six Critic’s Choice nominations.
Maggie Li is a Shanghai-based producer and interpreter (EN-CN) who served as a co-producer on Jessica Kingdon’s 2022 Oscar nominated documentary ASCENSION登楼叹 (2021). She has also worked on Plastic Watch by the BBC, China Exceptional Changes by the PBS, Basketball Love by NBA China, the Power of Conversation for the UN’s 75th anniversary, among others. Additionally, she has produced commercial work for Deloitte, Bain&Co, Colliers and J.P. Morgan. In addition to her filmic work, she is an editor of the business magazine Value Index China, and translated two novels by American author Jennifer Ball, both published in mainland China.
Elizabeth Lo (Director / Producer / Cinematographer ) is an award-winning filmmaker who is interested in finding new aesthetic ways of exploring the boundaries between species, class, and unequal states of personhood. Her work has been broadcast and showcased internationally, including at Sundance, Museum of Modern Art, SXSW, IDFA, Tribeca, AFI Fest, True/False, Hot Docs, New York Times Op-Docs, Field of Vision, and PBS’ POV. Elizabeth has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 List, Cannes Lions’ New Directors Showcase, and participated in the Locarno Film Festival and New York Film Festival artist academies.