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The course Directing Documentary consists of different modules each with their own subject from Storytelling to Editing.

With the module Storytelling you’ll start writing your film plan for your documentary. You’ll start developing your ideas and you’ll learn how to transfer these to a synopsis.

After you’ve put your ideas on paper, you’ll develop these on camera with the next module Cinematography. When you’ve decided how to capture your ideas, you’re going to make a final version of your filmplan in the next module.

During Film plan you’ll learn everything about the structure, position of the maker, production and finances. After this you’re optimally prepared for shooting your documentary trailer in the next module.

In the last module Editing you’ll make the edit of your trailer. When you’ve completed this module, your trailer is ready to be sent to production companies or can be used for the promotion of your own movie plan..

At the end of the course there will be a screening of your trailer in a cinema.


You’ll learn all skills to direct a documentary. From developing your film plan to the shooting and editing of your trailer or short film.

During the course you’ll build a network with other filmmakers. You’ll end the course with a filmplan and trailer for your documentary.

Total duration1 year
Total classes a week6 hours a week
Selfstudy/homework4 to 8 hours a week
Daytime studyFriday: 10:00 - 16:30
Evening study Wednesday: 15:00 - 21:30
Maximum number of participants 12
Equipment Included
SummerbreakJuly and August
Other HolidaysAmsterdam Film School is closed during nationally recognized holidays
Private educationNo scholarships possible
LevelFor beginners
Required hardware / softwarePC/Mac with Adobe Creative Cloud software (available with discount)
CertificateWhen completing the course successful


During the first module Storytelling, you’ll write your own personal documentary story. You’ll start with developing your ideas and structuring them. You’ll research why you have to tell this story and will research for genre and content. The eventual goal of this module is to write research reports and to develop a synopsis. You’ll end this module with the start of a film plan.

During the second module, Cinematography, you’ll learn all technical aspects to tell your story with the camera.

The ideas you’ve written in the previous module are the start of your camera vision. You’ll decide about light and style. The focus point is developing your own vision in shape, style, composition, framing, light and color.

Which style fits your story? You’ll learn with exercises.


Giving an interview is mostly about listening and making choices. Which information do you use? Most of all, how do you ask a good question and follow-up question?

At the end of this module all theory and knowledge will come together in practice. You’ll shoot a test scene. It may be any item you want to shoot. It could be an interview, it could also be on location. It is an example for the style you want to produce your documentary in.

During the module Film plan you’ll learn why it’s important and you’ll receive all the knowledge to make one by yourself. Every week you’ll write a chapter, after that you’ll receive feedback immediately.

With a filmplan you want to sell and finance your documentary. You’ll continue with what you’ve learned in the module Storytelling.


How do you describe characters in your movie? Do you need a biography? A character will develop during your film, you must describe this in a right way. How close do you get to your characters?


A story means movement and change of events. It’s important to think about the cause of these events.

You can use different structures and elements to develop your story in a good way, we’ll discuss this during the lessons.


With these lessons we’ll concentrate on the look and feel of your documentary. Do you choose for handheld? What colors do you use? How about sound, will you use music?


You’ll learn how to finance a film plan, you’ll also learn how to make the right contacts. We’ll immediately give you feedback.


The writing of a logline is difficult, but very important. You’ll have to tell someone in one or two sentences what your movie is about. It’s important for selling your movie. How do you write a logline? You’ll need to get to the essence of your film plan.

At the end of this module you’ve written your film plan and you’re ready to shoot your trailer in the next module.

It’s time to shoot your trailer. You’ll use all the knowledge you’ve gained in the last months. We’ll start with pre-production, where you get help from production students. Together with the teachers you’ll discuss the feasibility of shooting your trailer. We’ll discuss all the do’s & don’ts on-set.

You’ll start with a test shooting day. This way you’re optimally prepared for the official shooting day. During the lessons you’ll also have the opportunity to watch your classmates’ material. The teacher will provide the entire class with advice that’ll take your project to the next level.

Every director needs a D.O.P and a sound recorder. A classmate could be chosen to fill that position. You’ll discuss your crew with Amsterdam Film School. The directing of the trailer is your responsibility .

After you’ve shot your trailer, you’ll edit this in the next module.

During this post-production stage you’ll work with your shot material, with the help of our teachers.

You’ll need the right Editing workflow. You’ll learn the technical skills that’ll permit you to apply creativity to your project .

How do you structure your editing? You’ll learn to edit in a way that helps you tell a great story.

The rhythm of your edit is also very important. You’ll lean to tell your story the best you can with editing. You’ll learn about the tensions and attention of your audience. How do you make sure you’ll capture your audience?

You’ll make a picture lock. Is your story told in the right way? You know the technical part, but how about the dramatic part?

After this a lot of attention goes to sound and color correcting. You’ll also learn how to work in a professional environment and with professionals.

Now, it’s time for the final edit. Your teacher will review your work and give feedback that’ll end the course on a high note.


Monthly payments are available through our finance option. For example, by choosing the finance option you won’t have to pay the full price of the course all at once. Instead, you’re able to spread the costs across several months.

Every program is charged monthly for the duration of the program. For more information, please look down below to see how it works and how you can choose the most favourable method for your course. You can also choose to pay the full 100% in advance to receive a 3% euro discount on the total price.

The table below lists the rates per group. To process your registration, Amsterdam Film School has a one-time administration fee of EUR 50,-.


Amsterdam Film School will charge monthly, starting from the first month of your course. Each invoice has a payment period of 21 days after the first invoice date.

Access Amsterdam Film School’s educational applied terms and conditions through this link. By enrolling at Amsterdam Film School, you agree to our terms and conditions.


Paasheuvelweg 5, 1105 BE Amsterdam, Nederland


You are ready to work in the film industry as a director. After this course you could also choose follow our Fiction course.


Discover our highly extensive curriculum down below. The Amsterdam Film School-courses are perfectly matched so that our students can work together multidisciplinary during the learning process. This makes it possible to create complete film-productions during the course.


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Documentary producer

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