During this very intensive workshop, you will tackle the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and will take the first steps towards becoming an independent filmmaker. Following a short period of technical initiation, analysis of reference films, location scouting and writing, everyone then begins shooting a short film based on a common theme. The editing (assisted by professional editors) also allows you to assess the essential relationship between filmmaker and editor.
First period : Practical exercises, film analysis, location scouting
The first two weeks introduce the trainee to basic technical know-how and screening and film analysis. Using the footage produced during two practical exercises, trainees take their first steps in editing. Key documentary films are screened and analysed. A day-long lecture about documentary writing takes place. Varan’s media library offers videos on demand. During this period, each trainee chooses, defines, prepares and scouts the documentary film subject he wishes to shoot.
Second period : Workshop Film Shoot
The trainees organise their shootings over one or two half-day periods at a time. The rushes are screened collectively three times a week, with all trainees present for all screenings. The analysis and criticism provided by the group screening allows the trainees to correct and improve upon the production of their film and subject.
Third period : Editing and completion of workshop film.
Each trainee, as the shooting moves forward, starts to sort through his rushes and pre-edits with an editor trainee supervised by professional editors. This collaboration allows for the setup of the final definitive structure and the film’s last editing. This essential moment brings to light the ideas that have remained unclear during the shooting.
Selection is a two-step process. You will first be asked to send in a written document. Then pre-selected applicants will be given an appointment for an interview by phone before being definitively admitted. In the written document required for pre-selection, you are asked to supply:
1) An autobiography, free-form, 2 pages (but not a CV)
2) A one-page text, with or without a picture, on one of the following themes:
- Tell us about a place
- Tell us about a moment in life
- Tell us about your neighbours
These items are to be returned to us by email (to firstname.lastname@example.org ) with your complete contact information. We do not want a dissertation, but a text in which you are speaking directly to us. We do not wish to receive any more cover letters
About 40 film professionals (directors, chief editors, producers, sound engineers, chief operators...) make up the team of Ateliers Varan. They pass on their experience and professional practices in the training and workshops they organize.