Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

Synopsis

In this definitive and comprehensive guide, Rosenthal reconsiders how one approaches documentary filmmaking in the 21st century. Foregoing theory and hardware, he tackles the day-to-day problems filmmakers encounter.

Excerpt

Some learned sage is once reputed to have said “The only constant is change. ” Those were indeed words spoken in wisdom.

About five years ago, I pushed away my pen (actually word processor) after completing the second edition of this book. I was happy. I could take a holiday. Now I could lie low for at least ten years before it would be necessary to update the text. Well, I was wrong once again.

New equipment, new broadcast systems, new approaches, and new filming methods, not to mention the Web and digital video, have all forced me to reconsider how one approaches documentary filmmaking in the twenty-first century. The fruits of that thinking underpin this new edition.

Again, the emphasis in this book is on what to say and what to show, and how to do both these things in the best possible way. So this is a book about storytelling—how to tell great and moving stories about fascinating people, whether they be villains or heroes.

My goal in this new edition has been to enlarge and amplify certain key elements that were discussed in the earlier texts. Thus, the chapter on editing has been revised to take into account the massive strides in the use of nonlinear editing. Again, because cable TV stations like Discovery and A&E demand such precise and exacting proposals, I have provided even more examples of how one accomplishes these tasks. Budgeting has also been rethought, with the examination of a fairly complex budget . . .

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