Moving Stories: Documentary Filmmaking with Peter J. Vogt

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$675 Tuition
$605 For Members

*Partial scholarships are available for this workshop. Click here to apply!


Everyday, we capture, edit, and present loads of moving imagery on our cell phones alone. Technology brings this capability right to our fingertips, however, beautiful imagery does not equal crisp storytelling. In Moving Stories: Documentary Filmmaking, Seattle pro Peter J. Vogt will show you how to take the simplest technology and utilize it to tell incredible documentary stories. The workshop will work from a theme: “e pluribus unum.” From many individual parts, you will work to craft a narrative. The stories must be documentary, not fiction, but they can vary from the traditional interview + b-roll format. Students will work in teams. Instructors will pinch hit on location shoots and manage all crises. We will make up the rest as we go along. Each student will finish a one to five minute piece by the end of the workshop.


  • How to choose a subject and story
  • Pre-production for low budget documentaries
  • Location scouting and securing
  • Interview techniques
  • How to gather broll footage that will help tell the story
  • Filming techniques that work regardless of your gear budget
  • Collaboration
  • Editing theory and how to craft a story out of the footage you have

Experience level: Students must be able to gather moving images (on any camera or cell phone) and transfer footage into an Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro X. Editing experience is not required, but beginning level familiarity with Premiere or the ability to get yourself up to speed through self study is recommended.

Equipment and software: Students will need a hard drive. NWFF will provide free access to the edit lab between the start and end dates of the workshop. NWFF can provide some DSLR or Apple devices for shooting, however students are encouraged to work with what they’ve got- the goal being to get you comfortable and driven to tell stories with what is most easily accessible to you.

FILM STILL: My Beautiful Blue Line short doc by Sara Terry, created during Wildmind Film Camp lead by Peter J. Vogt in 2013.

Peter J. Vogt

Peter J. Vogt

Documentary Filmmaker

Peter J. Vogt is an award-winning filmmaker with over 30 years experience in the film industry. His work has premiered at festivals such as Sundance, New York Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and Bumbershoot, as well as art centers such as the Center On Contemporary Art. His work regularly runs on regional and local PBS, and his 2004 Up Thornton Creek aired nationally. Highlights include: Hype! which premiered at Sundance and achieved worldwide theatrical release; Nuts&Bolts, winner of a special jury prize at the 2000 Seattle Film Festival and shortlisted for the prestigious AFI’s digital film award. Peter is part owner of Optimistic Camera.


  • How many students per class?
    8-10, minimum 7, working in pairs to shoot, each student produces a film.
  • Will students supply their own camera/phone?
    Yes, iPads and DSLRs will be available as well. We’ll keep the gear as simple and minimal as possible to reduce time, and production footprint on location.

38 Minutes

Peter J. Vogt recently showcased his documentary short, 38 Minutes, during the “All Together Now” Short Film Program of Local Sightings Film Festival 2019.

The 38-minute film covers the disparate and overlapping memories of Hawaiians who experienced the terrifying false missile alert of 2018.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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