Creating a Documentary (Almost) Alone with a Video Camera

With the ubiquity of high-budget, pop documentaries featuring unsolved murders, fancy title sequences, and endless meme-able material, making a film can seem daunting and unobtainable. Why not start by developing a project that can be made with a minimal or absent crew?

Under the guidance of visiting artist Cuyler Ballenger, students will begin shaping and developing their documentary film ideas, engaging with filming techniques that can be achieved (mostly) alone, and capturing digital video or film. Students will have the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback. This online course is spread over three weeks to allow for independent work to be done between sessions. Students who have access to a camera (although a phone works too) and know the basics of shooting video will be most suited to the curriculum, but no video editing experience is required.

Cuyler Ballenger is a video artist, filmmaker, and actor from Novato, California. By combining documentary filmmaking and contemporary art elements, his work portrays labor, addiction, and family candidly. Ballenger earned his BA in Rhetoric and Film Studies from UC Berkeley in 2008. He is currently based in Sonoma, CA, and Houston, TX.


Registration & Fees: $175
Members Enjoy 20% Off Tuition


Register Become A Member

Attention: This class has been moved online in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please register as you normally would, and Houston Center for Photography staff will update you with information and a link to take this course at it’s scheduled time. 

To participate in an online course, students will need access to a desktop, laptop, or tablet with an internet connection. If you have any questions about navigating our new system, please email education@hcponline.org for more information.




Class meets three Saturdays:
March 13th, 20th, & 27th
11 am - 1 pm CST



What to Bring to Class

Access to a computer with an internet connection
Pen & paper


Cuyler Ballenger