Documentary Journalism at Medill

Core Documentary Journalism Production Course:

This capstone 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 in this course have gone on to win National College Emmys, Hearst Awards, Press Association Awards and premiere at major film festivals like Cannes and Tribeca. 

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

Documentary alums work as directors, producers, editors and cinematographers at prestigious outlets like VICE, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, The Atlantic, TIME, CNN Films, The Ford Foundation, PBS Newshour, Kartemquin, HBO Docs, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, etc.