Documentary Journalism at Medill

Core Documentary Journalism Production Course:

This course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of HD video production (including 4k) specifically geared towards producing short documentaries that tell human stories. Emphasis is put on the use of character, conflict, drama, and surprise in telling these documentary narratives. 

Students will learn documentary production with a journalism focus: reporting, camera technique, lighting and sound recording in the field. Students will create a 10-15 minute documentary project in a group of two. They will research and write a treatment, cast charismatic characters, get signed releases, shoot, and edit the film. 

Students work closely with professor and documentary filmmaker Brent E. Huffman to craft a story in a style of your choosing.

Documentaries created at Medill have gone on to win Student Academy Awards, National College Emmys, Society of Professional Journalists Awards, Hearst Journalism Awards, Press Association Awards and have premiered at major film festivals like Cannes, American Documentary Film Festival, Tribeca, etc. 

These student films have also premiered nationwide on PBS and in online outlets like The Atlantic, Time, ESPN, POV, Business Insider, National Geographic, Fusion, Al Jazeera, WBEZ, etc.

Documentary alums work as directors, producers, editors, and cinematographers at prestigious outlets like The New York Times, VICE, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Netflix, The Atlantic, TIME, CNN Films, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Ford Foundation, PBS Newshour, Kartemquin, HBO Docs, The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Buzzfeed, VOX, The Seattle Times, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, Harpo Studios, etc.