Documentary Making: Powerful On Screen Storytelling
3.5 (110 ratings)
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Documentary Making: Powerful On Screen Storytelling

The essentials of documentary filmmaking and storytelling presented by veteran documentary film director Paul Jenkins
3.5 (110 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,037 students enrolled
Created by Paul Jenkins
Last updated 8/2017
Price: $150
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Use Powerful Storytelling Techniques
  • Structure Films and Documentary Films the Right Way
  • Nail the Process of Planning Documentary Films
  • Gain Confidence in Documentary Filmmaking
  • Convey Powerful and Engaging Messages through your films
  • Understand what makes Outstanding Documentary Films Outstanding!
View Curriculum
  • Pen and paper
  • An open mind
  • Curiosity
  • Preparedness to learn a powerful screen storytelling skill

Why would famous Hollywood actor Robert Redford bring documentaries into a major film Festival? 

Why does a website dedicated to screening documentary films get more than 1 million hits a month?

Documentary films are a powerful narrative art form and one of the most challenging forms of filmmaking to master.

Sounds interesting?


"Very well explained, friendly, informative and great tips for filming documentaries."

Documentaries are one of the most powerful storytelling genres available to anyone, since they enable conveying complex and important ideas in a structured fashion with emotional engagement.

By learning documentary filmmaking with veteran documentary film director Paul Jenkins, you will dramatically improve not only your orientation and ability to make outstanding documentary films to convey your message and progress your interests, you will also gain a deeper understanding of filmmaking and storytelling which will benefit you significantly in many areas of activity-not just the arts.

"The inside look at making documentaries has been great. Paul breaks things down so you can plan out a documentary and see it through."

Once you gain entry to this course, you will be able to discuss documentary filmmaking with the Paul, including being able to directly asked questions via the discussions area of this course. 

Students are putting forward their documentary ideas and plans in the course Discussions, and getting professional feedback on the best strategies and approaches to take.

"Knowledge is power and gaining such from a person who's been through the experience gauntlet is not only enlightening, it's empowering. The information and perspective presented will guide my work and feed my imagination. This is great "real world" advice on how to approach and develop your art."

Enrol in the course now, and get started with powerful and engaging storytelling.


ANNOUNCEMENT: This course is currently being updated and extended.

Who is the target audience?
  • All those interested in documentary films
  • Documentary Filmmakers
  • Any Filmmaker or Video maker
  • Storytellers - on film, video or elsewhere
  • Writers
  • Producers
  • Journalists
  • Film Students
  • Media Studies students
  • Videographers
  • Wedding Videographers
  • Amateur Filmmakers
  • Hobbyists
  • Broadcasters
  • Commissioning Editors
  • Executive Producers
  • Screenwriters
  • Communications Professionals
  • Publicists
  • Charities
  • NGOs
  • Advocacy Groups
  • Marketers
  • Educators
  • Teachers
Compare to Other Storytelling Courses
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
Introduction to the Documentary Genre
5 Lectures 18:49


What a documentary IS and is NOT

CASE STUDY: 'Soldat' - The Importance of Structure
All about Stories
7 Lectures 17:20
Discovering reality

Understanding Story

Story vs Theme

Documentary structure

Story arcs

INSIDER SECRET: the Pro Way to do Story Arcs and Timelines
Going Deeper into Documentary Craft
5 Lectures 06:35
The role of voice

Sculpting in time

Conflict in documentary

Ethics and balance

Scripting and Structure
3 Lectures 11:01
Scripting and structure

Time Frames

INSIDER SECRETS: The Pro Way to Structure Your Movies
Practical filmmaking considerations
5 Lectures 06:33
The nature of Access

'Street' Documentary

All about audio


Camera limitations
Production Cycles
6 Lectures 37:39

Deeper into the Production Cycle

NB there is a little bit of noise on this audio from the radio microphone rubbing against shirt! Please listen through speakers if possible, which will make it more tolerable. I'll be re-doing this lecture at some point!

How to do research


Scheduling hybrid shoots - stills and video

EXERCISE: Deconstruction
A Word about Wonder
1 Lecture 01:06
Learning from Others
1 Lecture 02:30
Live Training extensions to this course
1 Lecture 00:26
Bonus lecture
1 Lecture 00:09
How to join Paul's Facebook group
About the Instructor
Paul Jenkins
4.3 Average rating
632 Reviews
16,996 Students
18 Courses
Film Director & Author

Effective and creative storytelling is an essential part of success in many walks of life - and fun when you do it right, because you feel the 'flow'.

Film and video techniques and visual storytelling can add much to your overall creative output, and be highly satisfying and impactful arts in their own right.

The techniques I teach, I use daily as a professional documentary film director and author.

In my courses, you'll get insights, strategies and working methods that I've developed over 20+ years while making films for the world's top broadcasters (BBC, PBS, ARTE etc). These days, I also make film trailers and corporate films.

My teaching style is to guide you through the processes that matter - explaining why they matter - in a personal, 'fireside' fashion. 

You also get direct access to me through the Discussion area of each course. This means that any challenges or questions you have can be resolved directly. 

I'm very open to feedback, therefore please feel free to feed ideas for lectures and courses to me and I'll do my very best to accommodate.

See you inside the courses!