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DSLR Filmmaking 101 with Michael O. Snyder

SDN Education

DSLR Filmmaking 101
Visual Storytelling and Cinematography

Instructor: Michael O. Snyder
6:30 – 9:00 pm Eastern via Zoom
Six consecutive Thursdays
Class begins September 24, 2020 (new start date)
Course fee: $475
One scholarship position available

Limited to ten students

Michael O. Snyder


Class Description 

Designed for documentary photographers and photojournalists who would like to integrate video production into their projects. Students will learn from Michael O. Snyder, a seasoned professional who combines both a photography and filmmaking approach throughout his projects in the Amazon, the Arctic, the Himalaya, East Africa, Scotland, Siberia, and his home in Appalachia. Michael has shot video for National Geographic and directed/edited six documentary films, which have taken home numerous awards at film festivals around the world.

Students will learn how to think, shoot, move, and plan like a cinematic storyteller. The course will cover the fundamentals of documentary film production including story development, production planning, gear selection, camera operation, cinematography, on-site direction, and audio production.  Students will learn how to select ideal frame rate, file format, audio settings and other key settings in producing video for various final use.

The course follows a practical approach that will combine lecture, demonstration, discussion, and critique. Students will be expected to practice techniques and share their work for review during the course.

Students will be required to provide their own camera. The camera can be either DSLR or mirrorless camera and should have an interchangeable lens system and full manual controls.  Students will also be required to purchase a neutral density filter, if they do not already have one.  Details of ND filters will be discussed during the first class.  

Michael O. Snyder

Michael O. SnyderMichael O. Snyder is a photographer, filmmaker, and environmental scientist who uses his combined knowledge of visual storytelling and conservation to create narratives that connect people to the other-than-human-world and drive social change.  He is a Fellow at the Bertha Foundation, a Blue Earth Alliance Photographer, a National Science Foundation Grant Collaborator, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and the co-founder of two environmental organizations.  He holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Through his production company, Interdependent Pictures, he has directed films in the Arctic, the Amazon, the Himalaya, and East Africa.  His journalism work has been featured by outlets such as National Geographic, The Guardian, VOX, BBC, Roads & Kingdoms, The Washington Post, High Country News, Condé Nast, and NPR. His films have been selected to over 40 festivals and have taken home numerous awards.

Snyder grew up on 12 acres of woods in Appalachia and spent much of his early adulthood exploring the remote corners of this planet. These experiences set in motion an ongoing love affair with the wildness of this world and desire to re-connect people to it. Snyder’s projects are often built through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and harness the power of positive storytelling in order to shift the narrative about what it means to live well on this planet without destroying it.

An adventurer at heart, Snyder has hiked the Appalachian and John Muir Trails, cycled across Europe, and ridden trains across Siberia. He has lived around the world including long-term stints in Scotland, Japan, Hawaii, and New Zealand. He currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife and two children.


$475 Total
$150 Deposit to confirm registration
$325 Balance due prior to first class

You can pay with a major credit card or with PayPal. If you would like to pay by a different method, please contact us at info@socialdocumentary.net.


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