Just have to write a quick plug for Thom Power's NYU class, Documentary Development. I took it this fall and it was great. Besides a little producing, I'm generally on the tail end of productions and this course really provides a clear overview of a documentary production, from inception through distribution. It also takes a look at various documentary storytelling approaches, which I found very informative. The class really gave me a greater sense of story telling paths. I felt like I learned an enormous amount and I took the class along with purchasing a fall season pass for IFC's Stranger Than Fiction (which is hosted Mr. Powers, Creative Director, and his wife, Raphaela Neihausen, Executive Director) which was a lot with adding my regular work and volunteer responsibilities in the mix, but oh, so worth it. The class is broken up to cover all stages of a production, from research to archival material searches, to budgeting and legal issues and as mentioned, creative approaches. The entire class got first hand feedback for our film projects, some of which were in progress already. Mr. Powers brought in amazing guest speakers as well (two of which were the filmmakers of Marwencol), plus filmmaker, Doug Block taught one of the classes.
Thom Powers is a filmmaker and documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and a juror on SXSW. He and Ms. Neihausen recently began DOC NYC, a New York based Documentary Film Festival.