Open City Documentary Festival

Shooting Documentary: An Introduction

May 22 — Jun 5
The course runs on three consecutive Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm.
£300 / £270 Students/ £250 UCL students

Learn the camera skills needed to shoot film in the documentary style, with editor and filmmaker Romain Beck.

On this three-day course students will learn the camera skills needed to shoot and create documentary films.

The course is taught through a series of hands-on exercises that increase in complexity over the three days.

Students will have access to professional camera and sound equipment for the duration of the course.

The course runs on three consecutive Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm.

Course content

Through a series of camera exercises you’ll learn the following filmmaking skills:

  • hand-held shooting technique using a professional video camera
  • how to use a tripod
  • intelligent use of automatic controls
  • getting good sound for interviews
  • filming a sequence
  • filming uncontrolled action
  • filming for the edit

The course is led by editor and filmmaker Romain Beck, who will go though the editing process with raw material and explain why certain choices were made in bringing together a scene.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for beginners.

There are no pre-requisites required to apply for this course.

Benefits of taking this course

Taking this course you’ll:

  • be taught by a professional documentary filmmaker
  • have access to professional camera equipment
  • have unique access to a filmmaker and editor, who’ll guide you through how footage can then be used in the edit

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you’ll have an understanding of how to:

  • use a hand-held professional video camera
  • get good sound
  • film a sequence
  • film uncontrolled action

You’ll also have an understanding of what it means to ‘film for the edit’.

Cost and concessions

This course costs:

  • £300 – full price (external applicants who are non-students)
  • £270 – external students
  • £250 – UCL students

If you have any enquiries regarding this course please contact or please call 02031086696




Romain Beck


With a background in fine art and theatre, Romain started out as a film editor nine years ago. He has worked mostly with documentary filmmakers and artists. His recent work includes the video installation Landlessness shown at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Disastro (Jihlava Film Festival and Whitechapel Gallery), and the feature length documentary Larryland. He also edited the festival favourite short documentary, the Watchmaker (SXSW, Hot Docs, DokLeipzig) which won awards and is on various online platforms.

Alongside his work as an editor, he has directed videos for local anti-gentrification campaigns and had worked as a director and camera man for music videos for the label Nyege Nyege Tapes.