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Documentary School at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles

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Documentary School LA

Documentary programs include an exotic one-week trip
From the silver screen to the television screen to the computer screen, documentary films have grown exponentially in popularity and ubiquity in the past several decades. As Michael Moore pointed out more non-fiction books are sold than fictional books, so why shouldn’t it be the same for non-fiction films or documentaries. Whether it be blockbusters like Searching for Sugarman or TV channels exclusively dedicated to documentary programming, there are more opportunities available to aspiring documentary filmmakers than ever before and thus more interest in documentary schools.

The Academy’s top documentary school in Los Angeles aims to foster the next generation of documentary filmmakers through intensive, hands-on education where students learn to make documentary films by actually making films. Students are immersed in the world of documentary filmmaking and learn not just the craft of filmmaking, but how the tools and techniques of narrative films can apply to documentaries.

Part of what makes the Academy one of the best documentary schools is the fact that from the first day, students are behind the camera, learning the aesthetic and technical demands of documentary filmmaking. In addition to students creating their own original documentary films, they also study the theory and history of the genre to best prepare them to succeed as documentary filmmakers. The curriculum at the School of Documentary Filmmaking is focused on combining in-class lectures and seminars with hands-on workshops and independent projects.

Our curriculum emphasizes the importance of interviews, research and development: techniques that are essential to documentaries. To that end we have an arrangement with one of the top archive/stock footage companies that allows our students to study in depth how to use archive materials to achieve their film goals.

In short, aspiring documentary filmmakers receive an education like no other when enrolling at our Documentary School in Los Angeles. Not many other top documentary schools offer such an extensive program that specializes in documentary filmmaking. Students not only learn the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and get extensive experience in the practice, but they also receive a portfolio of their work at the completion of the program to help them launch their career in the business.

International Documentary Association

Documentary students are given a membership to the International Documentary Association (IDA) the premier organization for documentarians around the world. They have access to all of the IDA resources and attend seminars and panel discussions from contemporary documentary filmmakers, editors and cinematographers. Our students learn the current standards, practices and even the controversies in the business today. IDA is an excellent opportunity for NYFA students to network and meet other working documentary filmmakers as well as the leaders of the documentary community. Students are also invited to attend a number of guest speaker lectures from contemporary filmmakers both on campus and off campus.

Documentary Filmmaking Courses LA

Upon enrolling in a documentary filmmaking course, students can expect to take many of the following courses.

New Media Producing the Documentary Directing the Documentary I & II
Production Sound Post Production Sound The Business of Documentaries
Editing I & II Documentary Film Analysis Marketing the Non-Fiction Film
Advanced Editing Sound Design and Mixing Camera and Lighting I & II and Advanced Cinematography
Industry Perspectives Polishing Tools: Color Correction
Community Film Project Visual Effects and Graphics Research, Development, and Directing
Production Workshops Directing the Thesis Documentary Producing the Thesis Documentary

Documentary Filmmaking Classes LA

The Academy’s offering of documentary filmmaking classes offers year-round enrollment. To learn more about the start dates and tuition, please click here to learn more.

Documentary Degrees LA

Offered exclusively at the Academy’s documentary school Los Angeles campus, students interested in obtaining a degree in documentary filmmaking can learn more about the documentary degree program below.

Documentary Filmmaking Workshops LA

For students interested in making a smaller time commitment, but still wish to gain a strong foundation in the methods of documentary filmmaking, the following documentary filmmaking workshop in Los Angeles is recommended.

Documentary Filmmaking Programs LA

Documentary filmmaking students wishing to make a longer commitment to their documentary studies and course work are advised to take the following documentary filmmaking program.

Documentary Filmmaking Faculty LA

Unlike the other best documentary schools, the faculty at the Academy’s documentary school in Los Angeles is comprised of world-class documentary filmmakers whose unique and impressive backgrounds helps them to guide students interested in a particular area of documentary filmmaking. Many have studied at the best film schools in the country. Our faculty members remain active in the industry, providing students with an exclusive view into the contemporary environment and trends. Our classes are small and faculty members work directly with students, ensuring that each and every student receives the level of instruction and assistance necessary to acquire mastery over their craft and the skills of documentary filmmaking.
NYFA documentary school Los Angeles chair Barbara Multer-Wellin Barbara Multer-Wellin, Chair: has written and produced hundreds of hours of non-fiction television programming and web content. Multer-Wellin's work has appeared on HBO, PBS, Showtime, TLC, Lifetime, The Discovery Channel, UPN, TBS, and many more. She produced two films for the PBS documentary series Independent Lens; Taking the Heat: The First Women Firefighters of New York City and Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire. She won a 2013 LA Area Emmy for the television and web series Your Turn to Care.

NYFA documentary school Los Angeles faculty member Denise Hamilton Denise Hamilton: A writer and producer with an extensive background in television, Hamilton’s production credits include work for the Discovery Channel, the Fox Family Channel, de Passe Entertainment, Quincy Jones-David Saltzman Entertainment, and NBC and ABC affiliates in Boston and New York. In addition, she also wore and produced the documentary “Ngone’s Story: A Tale of Africa’s Orphans,” which was part of the NBC/IBC series Horizons of the Spirit, served as a coordinating producer for the ABC-TV documentary Motown 40: The Music is Forever, and was a coordinating producer on WNBC-TV’s For Peace Sake: Youth Speaks Out, which was the winner of three local Emmys.

Documentary Alumni

The Academy’s documentary school is Los Angeles has turned out a number of successful alumni who have realized their career goals. Click here to learn more.

Career Opportunities

Jobs within the documentary film industry can take many different shapes and our students have worked in various different roles in the industry. Many consider the Academy to boast the best documentary school around due to the quality of work our students find upon graduating.

Director Assistant Director Cinematographer
Writer Producer Programmer
Grant Writer Audio Mixer Editor

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Contact Us

For more information about the Academy’s documentary school in LA, please call the Los Angeles office at +1 (818) 333-3558 or follow the links below.

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New York Film Academy Los Angeles
New York Film Academy
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Phone: (818) 333-3558
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