DOCSHOP 2018: Film + Technology

The workshops and panels for DocShop 2018 will focus on the intersection of film and technology. As filmmakers, our medium is rapidly changing and it is difficult, yet essential, to keep up with technological trends. DocShop 2018 will explore innovative cameras and production equipment, multi-media platforms for distribution, and how to navigate the increasingly prominent world of virtual reality. We will also entertain critical conversation about disruptive ramifications of tech on documentary and implications for the future of this storytelling form. Through workshops and panels we will hear from peers, trendsetters and innovators, including Vimeo, Vulcan Productions, Sundance New Frontier, Tribeca Film Institute, Gravitas Ventures, Seed & Spark, ITVS and more. 

Passes: DocShop Passes are $150 and include admission to all sessions and DocShop special events (happy hour, Pitch day party) as well as a 5-punch pass for film screenings. Single session tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. DocShop is FREE for students from the University of Montana and Montana State University.

Location: All DocShop sessions take place at the Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula (200 S Pattee Street), with the exception of the pitch events on Thrusday 2/22, which will take place at the University of Montana UC Theater




10:00am  |  Embracing the High Tech Film Toolkit
A conversation on benefits and consequences of tech savvy in filmmaking from production to post. These filmmakers share tips and tricks from the field and the editing room. Where should high-tech be a priority and where can you get away with more conservative or traditional techniques and equipment?

      Bryan Chang - Island Soldier
      Colin Ruggiero - Independent Filmmaker
      Jesse Spaulding - SIC Visuals
      Moderator: Rachel Stevens - Independent Filmmaker

11:30am  |  Filmmaking Technology in Extreme Environments

Tools for success in the backcountry, at high altitudes, in the third world, conflict and war zones, and the frontlines of 21st century protests. 

      Vanessa Boshoff - Vision Hawk Films
      Brad Veis - Warm Springs Productions
      Nick Wolcott - Elevated Productions
      Moderator: Deny Staggs - Vision Hawk Films

2:00pm  |  Low Tech: The Case for Simplicity in a Digital World

Faced with a surplus of high tech tools for storytelling, how do filmmakers navigate tech choices and best serve the story, the subject and the final product? Does story get sacrificed as filmmakers attempt to keep up with technology advancements in filmmaking tech? These filmmakers discuss the impact of technology in intimate environments and verite documentary films. 

      David Byars - No Man's Land
      Chris Suchorsky - A Shot in the Dark
      Drew Xanthopoulos - The Sensitives
      Moderator: Ken Grinde - Independent Filmmaker 

4:00pm  |  Master Class with Retrospective Filmmaker Kirby Dick

2018 Big Sky Retrospective Filmmaker Kirby Dick is a two time Emmy Award winner and two time Academy Award nominee noted for his work on investigating subjects and issues that are often considered taboo and culturally hidden from view. Join us as Kirby walks us through his groundbreaking career and shares stories and clips from his exposing and important work with films such as Twist of Faith, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Outrage, The Invisible War, and The Hunting Ground.




10am-2pm  |  Film Tech Workshops with AbelCine 

      Instructor: Megan Donnelly

10:00am - Building Your Camera Rig
This workshop will explore camera technology accessories that aid the documentary filmmaker in battling the long days in the field and capturing the story. Building the right shoulder rig for your workflow and accessories that will enhance your flexibility and mobility will be explored.

11:30am - Lighting on a Budget 
This workshop will be an in-depth demonstration of lighting considerations and techniques when setting up for a 1-person interview. The topics of creating mood through lighting and framing will be discussed and demonstrated as well as tips and tricks to do this on a budget.

1:00pm - High-Speed Shooting for Documentary
This workshop will cover considerations for covering documentary environments at high framerates. A focus will be on optical implications relevant to any camera system.

2:30pm  |  Virtual Reality meets Documentary

VR is not for the masses...yet. Considering that VR exhibitions are largely available only at film festivals, museums, special events and other niche venues, these creators talk about the future of VR and the holistic value of a medium with prolific popularity among investors and high-tech creators.

     Sandy Cioffi - Fearless 360
     Jake Sally - RYOT
     Moderator: Travis Morss - VidCon

4:00pm  |  High Tech, High Impact

Join Ted Richane from Vulcan Productions as he discusses leveraging emerging platforms to inspire and activate audiences. 




11:00am  |  Panel: The Intersection of Audio Doc and Doc Film

Lessons from the fastest growing medium in the doc genre with filmmakers and audio producers.

      Jule Banville - Last Best Stories, University of Montana School of Journalism
      Caitlin Hofmeister - Complexly and You're Doing Just Fine
      Matt Holzman - KCRW's The Document
      Moderator: William Marcus - MTPR and Montana PBS

12:30 pm  |  Vimeo Case Studies

Join Vimeo’s Ian Durkin for advice from the Senior Curator of THE filmmaker's online community. This workshop will provide insight into Vimeo Staff Picks as well as discuss best practices for online video release. 

2:00pm  |  The Art of the Pitch

Get more out of pitching your doc work-in-progress. Advice from Tribeca Film Institute and Film Independent on best practices for pitching to industry professionals. 

      Mridu Chandra - Tribeca Film Institute
      Lisa Hasko - Film Independent
      Alexandra Lazarowich - Big Sky Film Institute Native Filmmaker Initiative Fellow

3:30pm  |  The Evolution of New Frontier

Senior Programmer and Chief Curator of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Institute Shari Frilot shares her point of view from the exciting front lines of immersive storytelling.




Today's events are located at the University of Montana UC Theater. A shuttle will run between the Holiday Inn and the UM campus every 30 minutes. Click the links below for more information including directions, parking and more. 

9:00am - 2:00pm  |  BIG SKY PITCH

3:00pm - 5:00pm  |  Tribeca Film Institute IF/THEN Shorts Pitch




**The 11am Greg Barker master class has been rescheduled to Saturday 2/24 at 2:15pm at The Roxy Theater**

12:30pm  |  Social Media Charm School

Have a spare couple of hundred thousand dollars laying around to spend on billboards and commercials promoting your film? Cool, cool. Then this workshop isn’t for you. If you *don’t* have unlimited resources, Social Media Charm School is a great place to start in terms of learning how to use the internet to find, connect with, and charm your potential audience so that, when you finish your film, there’ll actually be someone ready to watch it! Join Seed & Spark's Julie Keck to bone up on best practices for social engagement.

2:00pm  |  Staying Ahead of the Distribution Curve

Courting festivals while you're shooting? Talking to distributors while you're crowdfunding? Finding your audience while you're in development? Filmmaking is not a linear process, and these distributors help you keep the finish line in mind at every stage of production. 

      Ian Durkin - Vimeo
      Gail Gendler - Fandor
      Scott Kaplan - Gravitas Ventures
      Brian Newman - Sub-genre
      Moderator: Paige Williams - Founder and CEO, Audience Awards

3:30pm  |  The Futurists - Diversity in Innovation

The advent of new technology provides a democratic space for diverse voices, perspectives and access, opening a door to innovators of all colors, genders and backgrounds. The media created as a result is better for it. Hear from this spectrum of minds helping define the future of filmmaking.  

      Rebekka Herrera-Schlichting - Vision Maker Media
      Lisa Hasko - Film Independent
      Billy Luther - Independent Filmmaker, alterNative
      Ranell Shubert - IDA
      Moderator: Gita Saedi Kiely - Independent Filmmaker, UM School of Journalism



SPECIAL SESSION at The Roxy Theater

2:15pm  |  Master Class with Retrospective Filmmaker Greg Barker

**This session rescheduled from Friday 2/23**

Join us at The Roxy Theater for a tour through the political and consequential work of 2018 Big Sky Retrospective Filmmaker Greg Barker. Previously a journalist, Greg is known for last year's films THE FINAL YEAR and Legion of Brothers, as well as HBO’s MANHUNT, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, (PrimeTime Emmy®), HOMEGROWN: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, Sergio (Sundance editing award), and KORAN BY HEART.


Major funding for DocShop is provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

DocShop 2018 is also made possible by sponsorship from:


With additional support from: