Documentary Case Studies Behind the Scenes of the Greatest (True) Stories Ever Told

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-12-18
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Documentary students and fans revel in stories about filmmakers conquering extraordinary challenges trying to bring their work to the screen. This book brings vividly to life the sometimes humorous, sometimes excruciating-and always inspiring-stories behind the making of some of the greatest documentaries of our time. All of the filmmakers and films profiled are Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning.

Documentary Case Studies walks readers through the fixes and missteps that today's documentary leaders worked through at all stages to create their masterworks-from development, fundraising and pre-production, through production and then post. There are plenty of "how to" documentary filmmaking books in circulation, but this book will instead deploy a personal, intimate, and candid approach to unlocking the secrets of the craft and the business by meeting filmmakers who tackle production challenges in the most resourceful and unconventional ways.

Author Biography

Jeff Swimmer is Associate Professor at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, US, where he teaches Documentary Production and directs the renowned International Documentary program. He is an award-winning Writer and Producer of documentary films on both sides of the Atlantic. His programs have aired on BBC, PBS, NBC News, HBO, A&E, CNN, DISCOVERY, THE HISTORY CHANNEL, TRAVEL CHANNEL, ARTE and many others. His 2001 "Northern Ireland: Dying For Peace" (Supervising Producer, CNN) won a DuPont Award in 2001.

Table of Contents

Tentative: The final book will have 14 chapters, and each will focus on a specific filmmaker and film. As of May 2012, more than half have already been interviewed, and the rest have either agreed to participate or we're pretty confident that they will once a contract is in place:
Chapter headings will be clean and simple - "Filmmaker: X. Film: X." Headings will be followed by simple taglines summing up the approach or style of the profiled filmmaker, e.g. "Alex Gibney: Never Take No For An Answer," and the like.
Ross Kaufman ("Born Into Brothels")
Elise Pearlstein and Robby Kenner("Food Inc.")
Simon Chinn and James Marsh ("Man On Wire")
Alex Gibney ("Taxi to The Dark Side")
Davis Guggenheim ("Waiting For Superman")
Jeffrey Blitz ("Spellbound ")
Kate Davis ("Southern Comfort")
Josh Aronson and Roger Weisberg ("Sound And Fury")
Mark Harris ("Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport")
Daniel Junge ("Saving Face")
Charles Ferguson ("Inside Job")
Greg Barker ("Sergio")
Frieda Lee Mock ("Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision")
Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil")

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