Near Documentary Seminar schedule – Sat Sept 29th 2018
(Subject to change)

9.00 – Registration and coffee (30 minutes)


 9.30 – Intro to the day/Near/CR – (30 minutes)

Overview of the seminar. Everyone has a story to tell, but how to tell it in a radio/podcast format is another matter. The seminar will look at the tools and discuss the skills required to make the story compelling, informative and interesting from a community development perspective with a strong belief in local stories, social justice and diversity.


10.00 – Idea development (30 minutes)

In this section we will look at how storytelling is developed from idea to documentary.

What is at the heart of your story? It may be a little known but important historical account of an area, it may be a bizarre set of circumstances or it may be the profile of a local man or woman. Keeping the heart of the story intact while building a compelling narrative is the key to a great documentary.

10.30 – The Art of the Pitch (15 minutes)

You might think you have the most innovative idea for a documentary but explaining it to people in a way that will make them want to work with you is not easy. To pitch is to ‘Capture the substance of your project in 1-2 sentences.’ We will examine some pitches and look at ways to make your story come alive.

10.45 – Research/contributors (45 minutes)

Who tells your story? What makes an audience want to listen to their voice?

In this session we will be joined by documentary producers Joseph O’Connor and Mary Elaine Tynan who will discuss the importance of research and look at the best placed characters to tell a story.  They will give us an insight into their work and how they managed to make contact and interview people for their documentaries. We will play some clips from Joe and Mary-Elaine’s previous work to illustrate the conversation.

11.30 – Coffee break (15 minutes)


11.45 – Recording techniques and equipment (60 minutes)

This session will demonstrate various portable recorders, microphones, headphones and recording techniques including wild tracking used in Near FM for location production purposes.

12.45 – Lunch break (45 minutes) – provided on site

13.30– Interviewing techniques – (45 minutes)

This session offers tips and advice on everything from standard interviewing techniques to recording in difficult situations (demonstrations, on the street, etc.) and how to get the best from your interviewee.

14.15 – The importance of music in documentaries(30 minutes)

Music changes everything. This session will bring you through the impact music has on storytelling and how it can, when used correctly, stir emotions in listeners.  We will look at different styles, how much to use and where? Commercial v’s creative commons music.

Post Production

14.45 – Logging/Scripting/narration(15 minutes)

The bit people often overlook or don’t do. We’ll remind you why it’s important and will be joined by documentary producer Enda Roche.

 15.00 – Coffee break (15 minutes)

15.15 – Editing/Adobe/ Building the sound scape(45 minutes)

In this part we will demonstrate the skill of editing, combining elements for the documentary such as music, sound FX, archive, narration, and interviews.

16.00 – In conversation with (45 minutes)

This part is a conversational interview with our special guest speaker RTE Doc on One’s Ronan Kelly in which Ronan will talk about some of the documentaries he has worked on and the importance of the story.

16.45 – Q&A with panel (45 minutes)

Ronan is now joined by other panellists Enda, Joe and Mary-Elaine to answer questions you might have.

17.30 – Optional pitching session (30 minutes)

You can sign up in advance for an opportunity to pitch your idea. You get 5 mins to pitch with max 5 minute feedback.

18.00 – End