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Intro to Environmental Filmmaking

August 10 - August 14

$875 – $1230

Do you have an environmental story to tell? Whether you work for a non-profit, an outdoor adventure company, the National Park Service or yourself, filmmaker Shane McMillan will guide you through the steps of planning, shooting, and editing a documentary short. This workshop will cover the basic technical elements of documentary filmmaking — from understanding your camera to working with lighting and audio gear to mastering post-production — all with an eye toward environmentalism. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of visual storytelling (what makes a good story in the first place?) and how to sell your idea to funders and clients.


Shane McMillan
Freelance filmmaker and producer



  • Who is this workshop for?
    Anyone who wants to learn the basics of filmmaking with a focus on environmental issues. If you’ve dabbled in film or video, but want to learn proper production and post-production techniques, this workshop is for you.
  • Who is the instructor?
    Shane McMillan is a Berlin-based filmmaker and photographer from Montana. His filmmaking has taken him to more than 25 countries to explore the relationship between humans and the planet. He has filmed with Jane Goodall, collaborated with the Association for Wildlife Protection and documented biodiversity issues along the Danube River. He has also filmed for the environmental organization Urgewald and the tree-planting search engine Ecosia. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor and NPR.              
  • When is this workshop?
    August 10-14, 2020
  • How long are workshop days?
    Classes start at 9am each day and usually finish around 5pm. Final production days may run later since our goal is to make sure you have a finished documentary short by the end of the workshop. Plan to work hard and leave tired.
  • What will I leave the workshop with?
    A 3-8 minute short film about an environmental issue in the greater Missoula area and a project blueprint to produce your own short film after the workshop.         
  • What equipment is provided/ what do I need to bring?
    We provide a desktop computer (Mac or PC) with video editing software. You’ll need to bring a video camera, memory cards, tripod (if you have one), and any external mics or audio gear you have for your camera. Please also bring an external hard drive (2TB should be plenty) to save your work.
  • What video editing software will I learn?
    Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Can I use my own laptop instead of the Media Lab’s desktop computers?
    Yes, as long as you have the latest version of Adobe Premiere Pro installed.
  • What about meals?
    We provide lunch one day during the workshop. All other meals are on your own. Missoula has many restaurants and cafes within easy biking and walking distance of the Montana Media Lab.
  • Will I need a car?
    That depends on you. If you want to film your documentary short on an issue outside of Missoula, you will need a car. Otherwise, Missoula is incredibly bike friendly and has a no-fare bus system that will get you just about anywhere. We also have a limited number of bikes available for check out to help you with getting to and from the Lab (and around town).
  • Do you provide housing?
    Housing is not provided. There are lots of AirBnB’s and hotels near the Montana Media Lab, however. Please let us know if you need recommendations.      
  • What is the maximum enrollment for this workshop?
  • Can I take this workshop for college credit?
    Yes. You can earn two undergraduate or graduate journalism credits from the University of Montana for an additional $155 processing fee.
  • I’m a teacher. Can I earn OPI renewal units for this workshop?
    Yes. You will earn 35 renewal units for this workshop.
  • What’s your refund policy?
    The Montana Media Lab will issue a full refund, minus a $150 administrative fee, for cancellations made more than 45 days prior to the start of the workshop. Cancellations made within 45 days of the start of the workshop are not eligible for a refund. If the Montana Media Lab cancels the workshop for any reason, you will be issued a full refund.


August 10
August 14
$875 – $1230
Event Category:


12 available
Intro to Environmental Filmmaking early bird registration (for university credit)$1,030.00early bird registration available through July 1, 2020
12 available
Intro to Environmental Filmmaking early bird registration$875.00early bird registration available through July 1, 2020