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Making a Documentary
Case Study: "Frozen Dead Guy Days"
One-Day Class

Frozen Dead Guy Days film by Pixel Mill Studios selected for BIFF Film Festival

This exciting one-day class has been specially-designed to go in-depth into the making of a documentary. We discuss the workflow necessary for you to produce your own doc, whether you and your team will be doing the filming and editing, or even if you'll be hiring people for those roles. Learn the tools, techniques and processes to feel confident about creating and producing your own documentary; save time and be more efficient after seeing how it's done correctly!

Using Pixel Mill Studio’s recent documentary “Frozen Dead Guy Days” as a case-study, Bruce and Mike walk their students through the steps required to make a great video. They discuss in detail both the aesthetic elements they chose to use, including traditional documentary interviews, but also animation and motion graphics, as well as uncovering the conceptual elements of how to tell a powerful and engaging story.

The Polar Plunge, as seen in the film Frozen Dead Guy Days by Pixel Mill Studios
Coffin races at Frozen Dead Guy Days, a film by Pixel Mill Studios
Lots of music in the new Frozen Dead Guy Days film by Pixel Mill Studios
Unique characters that you see at Frozen Dead Guy Days, featured in the film by Pixel Mill Studios
Great visuals in Estes Park during Frozen Dead Guy Days, filmed by Pixel Mill Studios

Topics Covered

  • Pre-production: Bruce and Mike start with how to determine stakeholders, motivations, and goals when producing a professional video. By using the documentary “Frozen Dead Guy Days” as their case-study template, they teach participants how to figure out their film’s budget and scheduling, along with learning how to coordinate all the logistics of interviews and other talent, and determining interview questions and B-roll locations. Then a lively discussion will ensue regarding: how does a script figure into all of this? Is it even possible to write a script for a documentary before you shoot the interviews?


  • Production: Participants will learn the proper set-up, operation and best practices of professional 4K video cameras, LED lighting, and wireless and handheld lavalier and shotgun microphones. Bruce will ensure that all students leave the class knowing how to operate a modern, professional video camera, as well as how to set up lights and audio, conduct interviews, and shoot appropriate B-roll so the editor has what they need to put together a cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end.


  • Post-Production: During the class, participants will learn how to think like an editor. Mike will go into detail about the how’s and why’s of editing, and demonstrating the workflow of decisions made in the “Frozen Dead Guy Days” documentary regarding pacing, style, and why some soundbites are better than others. This all comes together as he discusses how the FDGD doc came to be edited the way it is, with a powerful story arc. If desired, Mike can also incorporate teaching Adobe Premiere editing software into the class.

Cinematographer Bruce Borowsky of Pixel Mill Studios filming in Estes Park
Lots going on in Estes Park during the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival
Lots of fun to be had at Frozen Dead Guy Days in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado
Tons of music from well-known bands playing in Pixel Mill Studios film
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