‘Sriracha’ Director Griffin Hammond’s End-to-End Training Shares Hit Short Doco Production Secrets

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Griffin Hammond, director of film festival mega-hit short documentary ‘Sriracha’ and ex-exec producer of popular but now defunct YouTube channel Indy Mogul, has released ‘Shooting Documentary Short Films’ via CreativeLive.

The 16-movie, 6-PDF training title fills a hitherto yawning gap in the market for online training in one of the most popular forms of no-to-low budget independent moviemaking, the short documentary. I bought it as soon as I saw it and it has made my day. No, change that to “made my week”. I am stoked, as they still say here in Australia. Well, in Sydney’s northern beaches at least.

If you haven’t come across ‘Sriracha’ yet, head on over to Griffin Hammond’s Vimeo channel where the movie is available to stream or download via video-on-demand (VOD). Hammond has made the 2013 hit doco available via other online services including Hulu, Amazon Prime and more, to remarkable success for a short indie documentary all about a cult food product.

Sriracha is, according to Andrew Zimmern, face and taste buds of The Travel Channel’s ‘Bizarre Foods' program, “the fastest-selling hot sauce in the country” and has somehow become a cult food product all over the United States without any form of advertising or marketing whatsoever.

Some of that cult status seems to have rubbed off Sriracha the sauce on to ’Sriracha’ the movie, becoming an indie doco success story that led to Mr Hammond’s new position as a video reporter for Bloomberg in New York.

Shooting Documentary Short Films’ shares the lessons Mr Hammond learned in the process of making ‘Sriracha’, all the way from good stories and storytelling through the gear in his camera bag and how to use it to interviewing, shot framing, post-production, ethics, distribution and common legal myths and facts.

The final movie in the set, ‘How to Find Work in the Industry’, relates how he went to film school at NYU, failed, then found his own way of learning and then entering the profession he was fascinated by.

“Don’t freak out if you can’t get into film school”, says Hammond, “because you can do this from anywhere.” That’s great news for people like me for whom film school was never a possibility and who’ve had to invent completely different ways of doing what we love.

'Sriracha' short documentary director Griffin Hammond onstage in front of the CreativeLive studio audience presenting his 'Shooting Documentary Short Films' training package.

‘Sriracha' short documentary director Griffin Hammond onstage in front of the CreativeLive studio audience presenting his ‘Shooting Documentary Short Films' training package. Still frame from the video, extracted and processed in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

I have yet to watch every movie in ‘Shooting Documentary Short Films’, having skimmed through some and watched others all the way through. I downloaded them all for watching as health and time permits, along with ‘Sriracha’ as a VOD on Vimeo and the director’s commentary edition on Youtube.

As soon as I clear this backlog of current work, I will shut the doors, watch it all from beginning to end, and I know I will gain the confidence and knowledge that until now has sometimes been so much of a struggle. [bctt tweet=”‘Sriracha' director Griffin Hammond’s end-to-end training shares hit short doco production secrets.”]

Shooting Documentary Short Films with GRIFFIN HAMMOND

Via CreativeLive:

Today’s media landscape is largely made up of regular folks who know how to spot a good story and use basic gear to document the world around them. Find out how you can join their ranks and make compelling, marketable shorts in Shooting Documentary Short Films with Griffin Hammond.

Griffin made a name for himself with the ode to an iconic hot sauce, Sriracha. In this class, he’ll teach you how to identify, shoot, and share documentary-style video. You’ll learn how to:

* Recognize and tell a good story
* Capture high-caliber footage with low-budget gear
* Incorporate all the essentials for online and TV news
* Produce corporate work clients love
* Find your audience and monetize your work

Griffin will share tips on lighting, framing, and interviewing subjects so you walk away with lots of usable footage. You’ll watch as Griffin shares clips from a one-day shoot and you’ll learn exactly what it takes to turnaround a complete documentary-style short on a deadline.

You’ll also learn a handful of helpful editing techniques and get insights on the ethical and legal responsibilities of documentary filmmaking.

If you want to learn how to tell meaningful stories that look great and sell, while working on a shoestring budget, don’t miss Shooting Documentary Short Films with Griffin Hammond.

Check out media resources and downloads at CreativeLive “Shooting Documentary Short Films with GRIFFIN HAMMOND”

(cover photo credit: snap from CreativeLive)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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