Rustin Thompson

White Noise Productions
Participates in 1 Session

I would have loved to be the next Scorsese or Altman, but instead I studied Broadcast Journalism, where I was introduced to the basic skills of shooting, editing, and writing for TV news and documentaries. I was a freelance cameraman first, then an independent filmmaker, working mostly as a lean team of only one or two people. I've learned most of my skills on the job.

In my book, Get Close: Lean Team Documentary Filmmaking (forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2019), I advocate for becoming the author of your own films by reducing costs, crew, and time spent looking for money. I want to help filmmakers spend more time making films and less time struggling to make films.

My own docs include 30 Frames A Second; The WTO in Seattle, Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimers Story, the post-Katrina film, The Church on Dauphine Street, and Zona Intangible, set in a squatter's city in Peru. They have played in festivals and are distributed by major online streaming outfits. Are they well-known? Not really. Am I famous? Who cares. Do I make a lot of money? Laughter ensues. 

My current projects include the memoir film, My Mother Was Here, and two hybrid essay films, Slow Revolution  and The Malheur Diaries. In order to put food and wine on the table, I own a business (along with my wife) where we make short cinematic doc-style films for non-profit organizations. Read documentary film reviews and lean team tips at

Sessions in which Rustin Thompson participates

Wednesday 26 September, 2018

Time Zone: PDT/Pacific Time (US & Canada)
1:15 PM
1:15 PM
  • What Is the Value of a Film School Education?
  • Signup required
  • Film L.A. - Meeting Room
  • 1:15 PM  - 2:45 PM  | 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Panel