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The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary

Do you know what it takes to craft a good story–one that will win over funders and captivate audiences?

The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary

My name is Karen Everett, and I teach editing in the nation’s top documentary film program at UC Berkeley (according to Documentary Magazine). Although I have won several awards for my editing and story consulting, I hit a serious roadblock a few years ago editing my own documentary film, Women in Love.  Day after day I tried to structure the story.  But no matter how I ordered the scenes, I was frustrated with the results. After several weeks of struggling in the edit room, I had to confess that I didn’t see a clear storyline for even one of my seven characters!

I decided to take a different tact.  I paid $700 for an eye-opening screenwriting seminar by Hollywood guru Robert McKee.  I learned how to craft and leverage storytelling devices such as an “inciting incident”, the “midpoint”, and the “dénouement”.  I then found one of the most talented documentary story consultants in our filmmaking community (Deborah Hoffmann, who intuitively thought like a screenwriter) and together we crafted a riveting film in record time.

Women in Love went on to screen at more than 50 film festivals. I traveled the world (my favorite screening was in Capetown, South Africa), and I got to see for myself that viewers from vastly different cultures were riveted to the screen. Women in Love was courted by a distributor at the Sundance Film Festival, which eventually paid off in a lucrative Netflix deal and a big check in my mailbox.

12-Week Documentary Seminar

After directing Women in Love, I spent five years perfecting innovative and journalistically-sound ways to apply screenwriting techniques to films about real life.  I’ve also developed effective structural approaches to topic-driven documentaries. I began teaching these techniques at UC Berkeley and in several live workshops for the Bay Area documentary community. Based on the success of these courses, I want to teach a wider audience.

If you’re confused and stuck about how to structure your film, I hope you’ll allow me to share this body of knowledge with you.

Exactly how would I help you?  I’ve create an online, 12-week video seminar, The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary.

The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary

Documentary Storytelling Methods in 12 Weekly Modules

In 12 weekly video modules (30-60 minutes each, which you can watch at your own pace) you will learn exactly how to:

  • Customize proven structural templates used by 90% of award-winning documentaries
  • Get immediate clarity with a Doc Plot Map and 3-Act Timetable
  • Frame critical interview questions that will elicit the soundbites you need to tell a good story, including “the protagonist’s statement of desire” and the “declaration of character transformation”
  • Identify, organize and ramp up your powerful arguments into an elegant essay documentary that touches hearts and changes minds
  • Keep your viewers engaged with artfully crafted character transformations, precisely placed backstories and momentum-building plot reversals
  • Generate innovative storytelling ideas to delight audiences and show funders you know how to “think outside the doc box”
  • Craft an opening that grabs your viewers with the so-called “inciting incident,” the critical catalyst scene that sets your film into motion
  • Create seamless transitions and engaging scenes with micro-editing tips for cutting on motion, cutting on wipe, cutting on gesture (and many more master editing techniques that will make your film look great)
  • Modify proven structural models for editing fundraising trailers that will move your viewers emotionally, display your grasp of the story and actually raise money for your film…
  • There’s loads more…including six previously recorded group coaching calls (45 minutes each) that answer many of your questions.

You’ll also get a free copy of Documentary Editing, the first ebook and comprehensive resource that focuses exclusively on editing documentary films. More than just a textbook, Documentary Editing ($27 value) is an electronic workbook that allows you to implement the ideas through exercises aimed at structuring a compelling film.

I’m sure you’re wondering how much this special one-time program costs. Rather than wait until the end of this page (I know you’re busy), let me explain how I priced this program and tell you the fee.  Given the amount of instruction your receive and the time I spent creating The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary, the program could be fairly priced at $3000. The program initially sold for $499.  I’m now lowering the price to $297.97. Because I am so busy with story consulting clients, I am not including live group coaching calls in this version of The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary.

That’s good news for you.

Take advantage of a special deal on THREE of my online seminars for a limited time.

Buy “The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary”, and you’ll also get my two other courses for free.   Plus, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of my critically acclaimed e-book, “Documentary Editing.” (It normally sells for $27).

 

$197            Editing the Character Driven Documentary

 

$297            The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary

 

$297            TIME LIMITED OFFER: The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary + Editing the Character Driven Documentary + The Story Doctoring Kit + Documentary Editing e-book

 

 

If you’re a first-time filmmaker, this master level course will provide you with a steep yet step-by-step learning curve to structure a world-class documentary within months. If you’re a veteran filmmaker, you’ll learn innovative techniques to stay at the cutting edge of contemporary documentary storytelling. (After all, I teach brilliant 25-year-old graduate students, and some of their youthful originality rubs off.)

Video Trainings Offer Guidance on Your Documentary

Chock-full of specific strategies, case studies and effective assignments, these easy-to-absorb video trainings focus on story structure. By week 2 you will have a big picture of your film’s structure.

Lifetime of  Profitable, Documentary Filmmaking

In the unlikely event that after taking the seminar and applying the techniques presented, you feel you have not received at least a 1000 percent return on your investment with master-level, editorial know-how that will fuel a lifetime of creative, profitable filmmaking, I will immediately give you a full refund, no questions asked. Just email me within three months of purchasing the course at Karen@newdocediting.com for a complete refund.

The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your DocumentaryI only require two things in return.

First, you must agree to give the seminar your best effort and engage with the simple assignments.  I’ve found from teaching hundreds of filmmakers through live classes that my story-focusing and other assignments really do work when you work them! And I want your best efforts so we can produce great films. Fair enough?

Second, I ask that you do NOT spend your mortgage or rent money to buy this course.  In other words, I will only accept filmmakers who have already budgeted some story development or post-production funds for their film.

Upon purchase of The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary, you will immediately receive an audio interview that explains how to raise thousands of dollars for your documentary through an online platform like Kickstarter.  One of my clients recently raised $8000 for his film while he was still shooting.  So I interviewed him on “Crowd Funding”, the new, legitimate way to raise thousands of dollars for your documentary within a few weeks. Finally, there’s a genuine breakthrough in getting funding for documentary films that actually works!

Again, here’s my time-limited special offer on ALL THREE of my online seminars:

Buy “The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary”, and you’ll also get my two other courses for free.   Plus, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of my critically acclaimed e-book, “Documentary Editing.” (It normally sells for $27).

 

$197            Editing the Character Driven Documentary

 

$297            The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary

 

$297            TIME LIMITED OFFER: The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary + Editing the Character Driven Documentary + The Story Doctoring Kit + Documentary Editing e-book

 

 

If you’ve read this far, I congratulate you on your bravery for shouldering all the learning and responsibility involved in making a documentary film.  No doubt you have a passionate calling to take on such an exciting and at times confounding artistic challenge.
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Get Documentary Funders on Board

By the end of this unique course, you’ll have the editorial tools to get film funders on board with your vision and, someday soon, attract large audiences around the world, as I did with my documentary “Women in Love”. I look forward to helping you move past the confused feeling that you’re “spinning your wheels” so we can quickly structure a compelling, visionary documentary that will reward your efforts many times over … and make the world a better place!

I look forward to working with you on your inspiring documentary film!  After clicking on the Add to Cart button and paying for your purchase, check your email to confirm your subscription. Then you’ll immediately receive another email with your first video tutorial and free gifts.

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