Intro to Documentary

Sydney - Sep 08 2018

AFTRS Sydney
Sep 08 2018 - Sep 09 2018
Attendance Pattern
2 Sessions, Sat & Sun, 9am to 5pm
Dylan Blowen
Course fee
$450 / $405

Have an idea for a documentary but aren’t sure where to start? Interested to learn more about the genre, including factual TV/documentary series, feature documentary and online docs? This course will give you a great introduction and show you how to start moving your documentary ideas into actual productions.


This course will cover:

  • A brief history of documentaries

  • What is documentary? What is reality? Is there always a point of view?

  • Documentary aesthetics & genres

  • The interviewer/interviewing styles (Errol Morris, Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, John Pilger, etc.)

  • Developing your own concepts: where to start/breaking down an idea

  • Verité vs. Direct Cinema

  • Simple interview practical exercises

  • How to ask questions/the art of the ‘follow up’

  • Recording footage from chaotic situations/having a plan

  • Film grammar on your feet

  • Australian documentary funding bodies/funding sources

  • Film festival strategy: find your niche

  • Distribution models

  • Multi-platform: perfect for documentaries

This course involves lecture, screening and discussion and some practical exercises planned to get you out of your seats and thinking on their feet.


Intense and covered an enormous amount of territory in a short amount of time. Very worthwhile.

Very generous with knowledge and experience.
Thank you Dylan for the energy and huge download of information.
This was such an amazing introduction and starting point that I am leaving with huge inspiration and valuable knowledge!


Designed for students who have little or no knowledge of the Documentary genre, but have a strong interest in storytelling, and connecting with audience through telling true stories.

THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO STUDENTS 16 + . An "Under 18 in general courses" consent form must be completed by a parent or guardian if you are under 18.


Award winning filmmaker Dylan Blowen began his career in Los Angeles working at Paramount and Universal. Later, he moved to New York to produce live television before moving to Sydney in 2002 where he formed Pony Films with Rachel Landers to produce successful, award-winning high impact films.

His films have screened all over the world and won many prizes including the Foxtel Documentary Prize at the Sydney Film Festival and the NSW Premier’s History Prize as well as nominations for a Grierson Innovation Award and AFI for best feature documentary. Credits as producer include Lest We Forget What?, The Inquisition and The Snowman.

​***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page​ .​


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.