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Documentary Pitching Workshop with Melody Gilbert

Starts April 25

1 session: Wednesday, April 25, 6:30–9:30 pm

The first step in making a documentary is to be able to clearly and concisely talk about what you want to make. But many people are unsure about how to best explain their idea to others. It all starts with the pitch! In this workshop with award-winning documentary filmmaker Melody Gilbert, she’ll reveal how to perfectly pitch a project in one minute or less to anyone, from potential funders to crew members. She’ll also discuss what information you can’t leave out of the pitch and how to communicate your ideas in the best possible way. Bring at least one idea (or more!) with you to the workshop, where you’ll practice pitching your idea or work-in-progress. You’ll leave with newfound confidence in your project and your ability to communicate about it! 

Tuition: $85 regular/$60 member/$40 low-income

Melody Gilbert has directed, produced, shot (and sometimes edited) character-driven stories for more than 20 years. Her seven feature-length documentaries are noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo and has the ability to get people to reveal their innermost thoughts, whether it’s the family of a child who can’t feel pain (A Life Without Pain/SXSW), a former Vice President of the United States (Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story/PBS), or a physically healthy person who wants to become an amputee (Whole/Sundance Channel).

Melody directed, produced, and shot The Summer Help (2016), co-directed the first 3D documentary made in Bulgaria, Steps In The Fire, and she also served as a producer on three Minnesota-made films, American Heart (2013), The Starfish Throwers (2014), and Women Outward Bound (2015). She is currently finishing her latest documentary, Silicone Soul, which explores the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships.

Seven years ago Melody moved to Eastern Europe where she taught filmmaking and journalism at American University in Bulgaria. She is the founder of Docuclub Minnesota, a recipient of the very first McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship for Filmmakers, and a huge fan of Dunn Brother’s Coffee. She first taught Documentary Boot Camp for FilmNorth in 2006.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full to be valid. Registrations are accepted beyond registration deadlines as long as space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 5 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund by PayPal (online registrations, minus PayPal fee) or credit/debit card (phone or in person credit/debit card registrations) within 5 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class if scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). As of a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given.
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
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April 25
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Melody Gilbert
Registration Deadline
April 20, 2018
Maximum Enrollment
Civi Event ID
Class count or Info
1 session: Wednesday, April 25, 6:30–9:30 pm