June 17, 2015

Learn How to Make Powerful Short Documentaries in This Free Day-Long Workshop

Griffin Hammond CreativeLive Course
Wherever we go, stories are happening all around us. As filmmakers, we have the power to capture those stories and craft them into something special (and maybe even make some money in the process).

That's exactly what Griffin Hammond has been doing with his life. Who is Griffin Hammond, you ask? Well, he's a documentary filmmaker who has made his living capturing compelling stories and sharing them with the world. He's the director of an award-winning short documentary about Sriracha, the Thai hot sauce that has amassed a cult following in the United States, and he currently works at Bloomberg in New York City, where he creates political documentaries. Plus, he runs a fantastic YouTube channel with loads of DIY hacks for low-budget filmmakers, and has starred in many-a-video for Indy Mogul.

On Friday, Griffin will be leading a day-long workshop in conjunction with our good friends over at CreativeLive. From 9am PST to 4pm, he's going to be teaching a live audience, both in studio and on the web, about everything he's learned over the years when it comes to making short documentaries on tight deadlines and with minuscule budgets.

Here's the trailer for the course.

And here's a small sampling of what Griffin is going to teach everybody how to accomplish:

  • Recognize and tell a good story
  • Capture high-caliber footage with low-budget gearĀ 
  • Incorporate all the essentials for online and TV news
  • Produce corporate work clients love
  • Find your audience and monetize your work

Lastly, here's the trailer for his fantastic short doc Sriracha.

If you're interested in registering for Griffin's workshop, head over to CreativeLive and get signed up. Like all CreativeLive course, this will be broadcast live for free, but you can also purchase on-demand access as well. Either way, if you're looking to sharpen your documentary filmmaking skills, this one is a no-brainer.     

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12 Comments

Griffin might be one of the DIY kings in filmmaking

June 17, 2015 at 2:44PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1013

do you guys know of any other resources on making documentaries? any recommended vimeo/youtube/websites to check out?

June 17, 2015 at 2:56PM

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Sriracha, shot on a GH3. :-)

Most people didn't know that, I'd wager. It looked better than most people think a GH3 could look.

You can get a GH3 body for $700.00, new.

June 20, 2015 at 4:01PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1806

Consider not buying from BH... until they start treating their employees like humans.

March 31, 2016 at 1:59AM

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I'm totally on board with his ability to make good motion pictures with small time gear. That is truly great.

However, (and I know it's in vogue to criticize in a contrarian way here on NFS) but I just gotta say, I didn't find his work on Sriracha very compelling at all. The storytelling was acceptable, not great, and the whole thing lacked significant connection to the characters. I felt like it was missing emotional beats throughout the edit.

Moreover, I can't understand the need to create it in 1st person. That part seemed very odd to me and unnecessary.

I liked the IQ of the production and I'm glad that he was able to make it happen with consumer gear, but making a doc requires so much more than just tech-savvy and the other parts of the film were just...well, boring.

Sorry man, you got the tech chops, now delve into empathy and emotion. Have a earnest relationship with your subjects and lead them to real/poignant moments.

June 20, 2015 at 4:42PM

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missing emotional beats on a condiment documentary......... smh

looks like it won lots of selections for awards. lots.

June 20, 2015 at 10:30PM, Edited June 20, 10:32PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1806

Well, watch the film and tell me if the storytelling beats land for you. It's on Netflix. IMHO, there are plenty of opportunities to tell a better story in the film and those opportunities are missed.

As for getting into film festivals and winning awards, these days, that's more of a particular skill set unto itself than making a good film. As a person on a film festival selection committee, trust me on that one.

Good production value goes a loooooong way in smaller fests. But good production quality is not the same as good storytelling.

Take a considered look at the kinds of film fests that Hammond has been selected to rather than the number of laurels on the poster.

Basically, what I'm saying is this: It's a decent movie. It's not the most accomplished story telling. Hammond is really good at self promotion. I'd wager, if pressed, Griffin would actually agree with all that.

And none of that is really a bad thing. It's smart moves for a person making a living at this sort of thing.

But I'm not going to like a not-so-great film just because the dude is savvy and knows how to play the self-promotion game.

June 21, 2015 at 10:44AM

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I thought it was very good. It was interesting, and I found myself wishing it was longer.

It was his first shoot. I am happy for him. I guess all I can say is use your thoughts on creating some work. I will want to see it. I hope you go far. Maybe I'll see you on tv getting awards.

June 21, 2015 at 6:28PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1806

Maybe. I am in the process of making a documentary film of the same length.

I just want to make the movie and create an emotional connection with the viewer. That's what I'm concentrating on.

My impression is that Griffin thinks beyond that craft and worries about a bunch of other promotional stuff. Nothing wrong with that. Good PR and laurels can pay the bills.

However, speaking for myself, I'm not in the process of trying to win awards. From my experience, winning an award is not necessarily a direct correlation to quality. It may be. It often is not. It's all subjective and it's really (mostly) how a particular narrative aligns ideologically with the particular award.

His movie certainly wasn't hard to watch, and I enjoyed it in a superficial way. I just wanted more connection to the characters. Way too many people on screen that didn't move the story forward.

June 21, 2015 at 9:55PM

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You may be having too much of an analytical eye. Give him time to develop. I am looking forward to his next work. And I'm looking forward to yours too. Do you have a title yet so I can look for it? Or some way to get updates via email or something? A fb page? I really do wish you success.

June 22, 2015 at 8:23PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1806

I'd wish the same for Griffin, but I'm absolutely positive he's going to be very very successful in the biz; more so than me, to be sure.

My film will be done this summer. My wife and I work on it in between corporate gigs. I'll let you know as it completes.

Thanks for your positive attitude.

June 22, 2015 at 10:05PM, Edited June 22, 10:06PM

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Don't sell yourself short. Everyone has unlimited potential. Believe in a big future. Do the best you can before you stand before God.

June 24, 2015 at 12:22AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
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