An introductory workshop

To prepare your students to start making a film, we suggest you conduct an introductory classroom workshop.

Do I necessarily have to do this workshop in class before following the rest of the guide?

Not at all ! It’s a simple proposition; skip ahead of the guide to learn more about preparing for the shoot from a hands-on perspective.

The aim of the workshop is to help your pupils understand how a film is made, what it is used for (to convey a message), and how it achieves this objective.
The workshop will also allow them to distinguish documentary film from fiction film. Here is a preparation sheet to download:

Docu vs Fiction

Docu vs Fiction – editable

Examples of documentaries and fictions

To lead this workshop, we suggest you watch one or more examples of documentaries and fictions.
Here are links to fictions and documentaries that we offer; you are free to use others!

Just behind these two lists, you will find an example of a documentary filmed by the association.

Examples of documentaries

Examples of fictions

  • Rang-Tang ( Cartoon of 1:30 ) : an Orang-Outang is embedded in the room of a little girl; she argues with him to find out why.
  • Partly Cloudy ( 5:36 3D Animation ): storks pick up babies they deliver from the clouds; but a cloud delivers babies a little dangerous for a stork (aligator…). How is she going to get out of it?
  • It goes without saying ( Short film Black and White of 11:37 ): a young man who walks meets a young woman. Their love story will cross the ages
  • The Exile ( Short film of 2:38 ): two little foreign sisters threatened with deportation are staying with their mother’s friend and her granddaughter. The 3 of them discuss their condition and end on a note of hope
  • The monk and the fish ( Silent cartoon, fable type of 6:28 ): musical story of a monk and a fish

Discover the city of science

Here is a documentary report that we produced at the Cité des Sciences; we’ll use this throughout this guide as an example. It will illustrate the different stages in the creation of a documentary film.
In this video, annotations will appear. They illustrate how to identify that it is a documentary rather than a fiction, using the criteria listed in the Docu vs Fiction workshop sheet.