Testimonials – Talks

Reactions to Storytelling in the Documentary Edit – Skillset commissioned course March 2016



‘I thought the course was excellent, really informative. It left me feeling excited about how I can significantly improve the way I approach my documentary making and enhance my storytelling abilities.’

Hannah Hill, Director, feature documentary (in production)


‘Very happy to have attended, very informative experience. I was particularly interested where individual scenes were examined in the light of their roles in setting up and moving forward the story arc. The course gave me deeper understanding of how good documentary filmmakers don’t shy away from very consciously shaping their material.’

Eric Schockmel, Director, feature documentary (in production)


‘Susan is very knowledgable about the subject matter with great insights about film story. The course made me think about my work at Huffington Post in a more critical way and supplied useful tools I can take to the team to help them think about our documentaries.’

John Johnson, Senior Video Producer, Huffington Post


‘My background as a filmmaker is in visual anthropology and the course really opened my eyes in terms of storytelling for documentary film. I hadn’t really engaged with how much documentary makers can help shape their story for the edit. The whole weekend was brilliant.’

Hannah Taylor, Director


‘It was inspiring. I really liked looking at different types of films and ways of telling and constructing film story. It showed me new ways to be inventive and encouraged me to look outside the usual ‘documentary’ genre to make more exciting films.’

Rhonagh O’Donnell, Director, BBC Arts


‘Attending the weekend course provided me with something of a ‘lightbulb’ moment for my PhD. I was reminded that audiences prefer narrative structure and character-driven plots to the ‘portrait’ that many docs end up being. Before this, I couldn’t grasp what made some Catalan documentaries box office hits while others remained minority interest films. All in all, it was a fantastic course.’

Stephanie Allum, PhD student, Newcastle University

Conference paper Narrative in Catalan Cinema Documentary


Talk for Women in Film and Television


‘I came away from Susan Brand’s Storytelling and Emotion seminar feeling really inspired. As a producer developing my skills and widening my understanding of filmmaking, it gave me a clear framework through which to understand how subtly an editor can emotionally engage an audience. She used some interesting and diverse examples of films to illustrate her points, which left me with a clear understanding and inspired me in my own storytelling ideas.’

Holly Bedwell, Producer