Open City Documentary Festival

7 – 13 September 2022
in London

Documentary Editing: An Introduction (In-person)

Price £250 / £225 Students / £210 UCL Students

Location Open City Docs, 4th Floor, 40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1LE, Duration One Saturday and one Sunday, 10:30am to 4:30pm UK time, Dates  Apr 22 — Apr 23

Documentary editing can be a bit like carpentry – shaping a mound of footage into something that tells a story.

This practice-based course is aimed at new and emerging directors and editors, with no or little experience of documentary editing. Working on Adobe Premiere Pro, we’ll explore the art and craft of documentary editing, from creating visual narratives to working with sound, music, and graphics.

Session 1

In session 1, we’ll begin by learning the nuts and bolts of Premiere Pro using Open City Docs’ editing suite. After learning about hard drive management, students will look at starting a new project in Premiere, logging footage, and the basics of editing footage together. We’ll explore editing interviews, alongside editing observational footage. Using documentary footage, students will have a go editing a scene.

Learning outcomes:

  • Hard drive management
  • Starting a new Premiere Project
  • Getting to know the interface
  • Importing the material
  • Logging footage
  • Building the timeline
  • Editing a sequence


Session 2

In the next session, we’ll continue where we left off. Students will learn to create atmospheres using sound, and where and how to use music in film. In this session we’ll also cover basic sound correction, colour grading,  graphics, and subtitling. We’ll  then discuss scripting and structuring, watching some short films and understanding different narrative techniques. Finally, students will have a go editing a short film.

  • Sound editing: basic concepts
  • Sound design
  • Colour grading
  • Working with text and subtitles
  • Narrative techniques and storytelling
  • Paper editing and building a structure
  • Practical exercise

This course takes place in-person over one weekend (22nd and 23rd April) from 10:30am to 4:30pm, with a lunch break from 1pm to 2pm.

If you’d like to be notified about this course’s future running dates, please fill in this quick form. If you have any questions about the course, get in touch with



Chloe White


Chloe White is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer and director of Whalebone Films based in Hastings and London, with frequent travels around the world to collect stories and images.

Her films are intimate, considered portraits, focusing mainly on the female experience.

Her clients and partners include the Guardian, Topic, Nowness, BBC, Channel 4, Oxfam, Save the Children and the BFI and she has had films screen at festivals internationally including at Camden International Film Festival, Open City, and Sheffield Doc Fest.

Chloe lectures in Documentary Film at University College London and London College of Communications. She has also given talks and workshops at the BFI, Frontline Club, the Roundhouse and is a fellow of Macdowell.