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Documentary Techniques
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Old October 7th, 2004, 12:01 AM   #16
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Richard, don't be a hater.

How about "his investment in the film was $7000"?
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Old October 7th, 2004, 12:12 AM   #17
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Seems to me the real question is, can you make over $10,000 with your documentary? <grin>
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Old October 7th, 2004, 03:58 AM   #18
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Look, we can do a lot for less money because we don't:

1) buy or rent a camera for a movie (we usually already have one and it usually itsn't as high end)

2) pay people like producers, editors, runners, people who look through archives, legal counsil, marketing people etc. etc.

3) buy music (we tend to make it or get it free somewhere)

4) pay for marketing stuff like commercials / posters etc.

5) pay actors

6) rent an editing room or a company/person/people to do it for you

7) get effects done (like credits or color correction work)

Even a simple documentary might have a lot of things on this
list. It quickly adds up. Also keep in mind that hiring certain folk
is expensive. I think I cost around $125 an hour at my current
company (for the customer). For $65,000 you could hire me for
13 weeks straight (40 hours a week).

Then the money is gone. Now have 10 people working full time
for a week and your budget is nearly gone already.

I can imagine people in the documentary/film business are even
more expensive....

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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #19
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I'm not sure of the exact budget, but if you seek inspiration for a doc under $10k, take a look at "Hands on a Hard Body." This doc maker made a really shrewd choice of subject matter -- a three-day competition with plenty of human drama plus pre- and post-interviews. He had the entire film in the can in two weeks. That incredibly engaging film played for months in the University of Texas Dobie theater.

Consider your subject. How long and how much will it take to acquire the footage? How far would you have to travel to get the story? How easy or difficult are the people you are observing to get? What special equipment would you need to get it in the can. Etc.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 05:22 PM   #20
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where does the $$ go ?

well if you are paying persons ... 1500 day to cameraperson , 400 day sound , 450 day gaffer ... 2500wk editor X 16-26 weeks ..
5K production insurance, 2K month office rent ,$$ overhead ... then you have producer , director , PM , PA 's ... adds up quick ...

if you only have 10K then you don't have production insurance , you shoot-edit it your self ... what ever amount you have is what you fit into your budget so maybe you only pay 500 day to camera etc ...

YES - you can make a good doc for 10K !!! and you have to do most of it yourself ...
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Old November 20th, 2004, 04:17 PM   #21
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You can easily do a documentary for $10,000 or $5000 or $2500 or... Trick is to document something in the present so all your footage is "in the present."
Re-creations, airline travel, archival footage etc. is where documentaries start to get expensive.
Find something of interest around where you live and go from there. (The best are human interest stories.) In this way local businesses may agree to help you out with donations or food or product.
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