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In light of the recent NSA* leaks regarding the PRISM and Boundless Informant programs, I’ve decided to come forward and detail our own secret technological advances in order to establish a more transparent and open society. Somewhat smaller in scope, our project was likely conceived in a fashion similar to the NSA’s total information awareness initiative (in a room, with chairs, and probably a table; we both used computers). While the NSA is pulling down billions of pieces of intelligence a m... [Read more]
Interviews Interviews are the bread and butter of your documentary film. Whether you’re interviewing the President of the United States or your grandmother, your ability to provide lucid, insightful questions and direction to your subject is essential to the success of your documentary. If your documentary doesn’t have a focus, chances are you’re line of questioning won’t either. Be sure to know what the objective of the interview is and what you expect to get out of it before you shine a li... [Read more]
Audio/Visual Technique One of the beautiful things about the current environment for filmmaking is that everyone has the ability to tell a story. The rise of the digital age and the democratization of technology has made the equipment, software and knowledge of cinema available to everyone. The ability to shoot, edit and distribute a documentary has been put quite literally in the palm of your hand.Read more...
katja kodba / Shutterstock.com Troubleshooting “It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.” - Nevil Maskelyne, Stage Magician Most if not all film productions manifes... [Read more]
  Introduction Welcome to The Mechanics of Documentary Filmmaking. This four part series will cover the basics of bringing your non-fiction tale to the screen including File Management, Trouble Shooting, Audio/Visual Technique and the Interview Process. As a medium for storytelling, the documentary provides a unique format for meshing the art of cinema with real life in a way that bends the rules of non-fiction to make room for aesthetics and poetic license. The first part in the serie... [Read more]