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Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-06-26
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ Pr
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As Alan Rosenthal states in the preface to this new edition of his acclaimed resource for filmmakers,Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videosis "a book about storytelling--how to tell great and moving stories about fascinating people, whether they be villains or heroes." In response to technological advances and the growth of the documentary hybrid in the past five years, Rosenthal reconsiders how one approaches documentary filmmaking in the twenty-first century. Simply and clearly, he explains how to tackle day-to-day problems, from initial concept through distribution. He demonstrates his ideas throughout the book with examples from key filmmakers' work. New aspects of this fourth edition include a vital new chapter titled "Making Your First Film," and a considerable enlargement of the section for producers, "Staying Alive," which includes an extensive discussion of financing, marketing, festivals, and distribution. This new edition offers a revised chapter on nonlinear editing, more examples of precise and exacting proposals, and the addition of a complex budget example with explanation of the budgeting process. Discussion of documentary hybrids, with suggestions for mastering changes and challenges, has also been expanded, while the "Family Films" chapter includes updated information that addresses rapid expansion in this genre.

Author Biography

Alan Rosenthal has made more than sixty films for television. His books include New Challenges for Documentary, Why Docudrama? Fact-Fiction on Film and TV, and Jerusalem: Take One! Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker. He received a Peabody Award for Journalism and the International Documentary Association’s award for scholarship. Currently he divides his time among projects in Jerusalem, London, and New York. His most recent film is Stalin's Last Purge.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Preface to the Fourth Editionp. xi
Preface to the First Editionp. xv
Introductionp. 1
From Idea to First Draft
Clearing the Decksp. 9
Getting to Workp. 19
Writing the Proposalp. 33
Researchp. 56
Shaping the Filmp. 65
Beginning the First Draftp. 90
Completing the First Draftp. 103
Budget and Contractp. 129
Preproduction Surveyp. 146
The Director Preparesp. 165
Directing the Interviewp. 177
On Locationp. 193
Editingp. 205
Writing the Final Narrationp. 226
Finishing the Filmp. 259
Special Cases
Making Your First Filmp. 269
Cinema Veritep. 275
Documentary Dramap. 288
The History Documentaryp. 311
Family Filmsp. 328
Industrial and Public Relations Filmsp. 351
Staying Alive: The Producer's Rolep. 364
Conclusion: Problems and Challengesp. 389
Budget for a One-Hour Documentary, Peace Processp. 401
Selected Bibliographyp. 407
Indexp. 409
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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