DocForest 101: How to Prepare for a Documentary Slumber Party in the Woods (2016 Edition)

We are so excited about DocForest 2016 and we can’t wait for YOU to be a part of it.

This year we are hosting DocForest at the beautiful Pack Forest(9010 453rd Street East, Eatonville, WA 98328). It is about 90 minutes’ drive from Seattle on the way to Mt. Rainer. Each of the ten historical and comfortable cabins accommodates up to eight people. No tents required!

Here is what you need to bring documentary-wise:

  1. Your idea for a project. This can be at any stage, from an idea in its infancy to something you have been working on for years. Be ready to talk about it and talk about it some more.
  2. Your love for documentary films, and your eagerness to learn more about it.
  3. A smartphone with as much memory as possible. As you may know, you will learn a ton of phone cinematography in this year’s DocForest, and be in a team to finish a four-hour film challenge.
  4. Your working laptop— so that you can transfer footage and do editing on your device for the film challenge. Transferring footage from FilMic Pro to Mac/PC is a smooth process, and we’ll be there to help.
  5. Your social reserves— if you are an introvert (doc filmmakers can lean this way) this can be a pretty talky-social event, but everyone is so interesting and nice. If you are someone that gets overwhelmed by too much talky, no worries— you can escape into the beauty of the forest here and there for some quiet.

Encouraged, but not required:

  1. Headphones— they make editing easier for everyone.
  2. External battery pack and charing cable— your phone needs extra power for a shoot day.
  3. Five minutes or less of completed work for our Show & Tell session on Friday night. Something you are proud of which says, This is some of what I do…
  4. Please bring any work you have on a flash drive (5 min or less for Show & Tell). The internet at Pack Forest is pretty reliable, but just in case.

What you need wood-wise:

  1. Warm clothes— layers (It might get a bit cold in the woods!)
  2. Shoes for walking, or hiking in the woods

Good idea to bring:

  1. Business cards to share
  2. Cozy hat
  3. Water bottle
  4. Alka seltzer in case you drink too much from the keg
  5. If you prefer alcoholic beverage that is not beer or wine, bring that as well
  6. Bug repellent— I don’t think we have ever had bugs, but better safe than sorry.

Not cool to bring:

  1. Cannabis— Pack Forest is owned by U of W, so cannabis is not allowed.


That is it for now… We’ll update this post if something else comes up. Look forward to meeting you on Sept. 16th!