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Old June 21st, 2004, 01:34 PM   #16
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yeah, of course it looks real, but would you like to share your tricks with me?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 01:41 PM   #17
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Alex,
Sorry, didn't mean to tease you. You already know how the "trick" is done. You said so yourself. MOst likely, in the scenario you describe, some portions of an event are captured "real time" as they unfold. Other portions are staged, or "re-staged" to get various angles or accounts. This is then cut together to form a cohesive narrative.

This has led to the term "docu-drama" in some cases.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 02:57 PM   #18
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oh no problem, I'm not angry at all(i hope i didnt sound it) ...just confused. Thanks for the confirmation, I thought there might have been some secret way to accomplish this effect. Anyway, a little teasing now and then is healthy.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #19
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One thing I am now encountering while filming a feature length, self-produced doc is that, although I am shooting scriptless, I will be hiring a writer very soon. Why??

Because at some point I will be seeking funding and I will be hiring a writer for the proposal to raise funds. If you ever get the chance look at some of the proposal writers grant writing, it is a very unique and difficult skill to master.

A good writer knows not only how to write the story well but also address the many criteria that foundations and non-profits are looking for in a proposal. Initially, I thought that I or my producer could throw something together but after reading some sample work it become very clear that neither of us had the necessary writing skills to put together a professional proposal for funding.

Good doc writers are worth their weight in gold!
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Old June 26th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #20
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I am currently editing about 57 hours of raw footage shot over an eight month period on the making of the Wright Brother's Sculpture for the Flight Centennial last December. When finished, it should be an insomniac's dream!

There is no conflict, the sculpture didn't fall off the truck or anything! But I've shot it with no script, just beginning to end. As I edit, I write the script, based on the cuts. Once the first cut is completed (with a first draft of the script), I'll shoot interviews - with the governor, the artist, etc., and I'll have a much better idea what to ask so that those clips can be inserted and fit the finished piece (we did shoot some interviews during the Flight Centennial).

It may not be the normal way of doing things, but it's working for me. I didn't know anything about the "lost wax process" and bronze sculpting, and now I know more than I ever wanted to! I hope to have the piece completed by the end of August.

As has been previously stated, if I were shooting a doc to prove a point or cause or whatever, I would do a tremendous amount of research. I don't know that I would write a complete script, but I would certainly have a very good idea of what I wanted to write and shoot!

Good luck.
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Old June 26th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #21
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Good point.

There is difference though in a historical doc and a current event doc. Certainly the historical doc should be thoroughly researched and a script, or at least an outline, written.

The current event I am shooting is mostly based on a recent event and an interview with a prisoner in a federal detention center. The interview is about 4 hours long. It was suggested to me to get a transcript of the interview. That way I can read it and follow it's lead in my future shooting.

But as the story progresses, I have no clear idea what may happen next so I can't script it. But I did initially write a treatment to hone my ideas on what the film was about and the story around it.

Many current event docs tell their own story as it unfolds so as you follow one angle it often leads to another. Sometimes they end up on the cutting room floor but I am much more disappointed when I miss an opportunity to film than when I film a segment that will probably not be in the film.

This is a doc situation where a script can't work and could even be considered more constraining.
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Old June 27th, 2004, 08:57 PM   #22
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Jim, that was exactly how shooting the making of this sculpture was. I had no idea what went into the making of a sculpture, despite the hours of research I did on the web, so I couldn't see myself scripting what I didn't know!

Since it was an eight month project and the studio was a 210 mile round trip, the artist sculpted 5 or 6 days a week and I was only able to shoot about once a week, but we (my brother and I) still shot nearly 60 hours of raw footage. I just wonder what we may have missed!
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Old June 28th, 2004, 12:20 AM   #23
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Good question!

I would say it would depend on what your subject is and how much info there was on it at the time.

I have shot 4 documentaries in the last 4 years. We really haven't had "that" much of a full script. More of an outline I guess you would say...with a whole lot of questions! :) We taped our stories as they unfolded before our eyes. During our interviews we would write down some info to follow up with another interview at a later time that week with a different subject.

I am so use to letting the people who we interview tell the story and guide us with their words down the path.

We ask all kinds of questions to see if anyone has a different view on the subject matter or if we can "pull" new info out of them that maybe they forgot over the years.

Some of these stories happened in the 70's and some in the present day.

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Old June 28th, 2004, 01:27 AM   #24
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This is a fab thread!

Perhaps we are saying, choose the approach which is most comfortable; be prepared to adjust your approach; have some approaches in the back of your mind; speak with other documenters [ that's here! ] ; always be open to your development within the approach you are making and be relaxed. ... . And lastly, perhaps someone should DO a documentary on the "Making of Documentaries" with interviews of the various "approaches" . ..

At the moment you can't have any idea just how appropriate this thread is for me!

Grazie
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Old June 28th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #25
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I agree Graham. I wish we had this thread a year ago, before I started blindly shooting! I've picked up some nice tips!
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Old June 28th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #26
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Graham,
A documentary on documentaries???

Sounds like Kramer's Coffe table book on coffee tables, that actually could be used as a coffee table.

Holy self-referrential Batman, can you say post-modern constructionism?

Sorry...
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Old June 28th, 2004, 08:37 AM   #27
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.. ok ok ok . . I give in! ! ! LOL!


. . .then we could have . .. a documentary on making documentaries ABOUT making documentaries . . . ? No? . .see where this is going .. .? Yeah? .. .I don't .. bit like my movie making . . .

Grazie
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Old June 28th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #28
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Give it time. History will provide you with all of your most ridiculous intellectual fantasies, manifest. :-)

Anyone reading Bill Nichols? I'm a hundred pages into his Introduction to Documentary, a sort of theoretical history of documentary. Great stuff.
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