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Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

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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 Videos is “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 i As Alan Rosenthal states in the preface to this new edition of his acclaimed resource for filmmakers, Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos is “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.


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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 Videos is “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 i As Alan Rosenthal states in the preface to this new edition of his acclaimed resource for filmmakers, Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos is “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.

30 review for Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos

  1. 4 out of 5

    Belal Khan

    This was part of the required reading when I took a film finance course in college. Great overview of the process of putting together a proposal, budget, and planning to get grant funding for your documentary film.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    Bland, but it covers a lot of ground.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Flora

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susie

  5. 4 out of 5

    SMC

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ben J. Schmidt

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kenny Harrison

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  11. 5 out of 5

    Farhad

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathandh

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Beal

  16. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kareem_mohamed

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arnold

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aiman

  21. 4 out of 5

    sony

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jess Johnson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiago Vitória

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jameil

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeb Hunt

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  28. 5 out of 5

    Noorilhuda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Malburg

  30. 5 out of 5

    Iyad

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