The Search for Reality

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This ambitious book from author, producer and director Michael Tobias draws together the voices of 40 renowned documentary filmmakers from around the world.

These contributors shed unique light on contemporary culture and aesthetics, the filmmaker's commitment to the documentary form, and the documentary production process from concept to marketplace. They also probe provocative questions: What is reality in a documentary? Can and should there be objectivity in a documentary? What is the role of social advocacy in a documentary? How do new production technologies affect a documentary's message?

This is the first book that brings together an international roster of documentary filmmakers to speak about the very heart and soul of their art. It should prove to be an invaluable guide for both professionals and students, and will appeal to general filmgoers as well.

Audience: Documentary filmmakers and enthusiasts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780941188623
  • Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 389
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 10.09 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

PhD, has traveled to some 60 countries where he has specialized in an interdisciplinary approach to environmental history, scientific, ethical, aesthetic and philosophical frameworks for policy research and strategies, demographic analysis, ecological anthropology, and non-violence activism. Tobias is the author of more than 30 books and has directed, written, and/or produced well over one hundred films for broadcast throughout the world. In 1996, Tobias received the "Courage of Conscience Award" for his commitment to animals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
One or Two Things I've Learned About Documentary Film 7
Desperately Seeking Marilyn 15
Confessions of an East-West Filmmaker 23
On Learning to Make Films (The Midwife's Tale) 31
A Search for the Feeling of Being There 49
Framing the Wind 53
"Woodstock" - From Vision to Symbolic Reality 65
The Intimate Moment: The Art of Interviewing 87
"The Big Wet" 99
A Passion For Truth 115
The Ice Climb Commitment 121
Strange Bedfellows: The Feature Documentary, Television and Anthropology 133
From Walden to Wao Kele O Puna to Wetlands 141
A Manifest on the Subject of Documentaries 149
At Risk: An Anatomy of a Decision 155
Sanity Lost and Found: The Travails of a South African Documentary Filmmaker 167
The Search for Reality 183
The Family Filmed 197
All Together, All At Once, The Rocketship 20th Century 205
Four Arguments for the Preservation of Television 219
The Documentary: The Near Perfect Vehicle 225
A Comparative Study of Eastern and Western Documentaries 229
Intercultural Documentary and the American Audience 237
The Elusive Art of European Coproduction 245
The Audience Representative 253
Ten Golden Rules 259
Art of Documentary 271
The Documentary: Entertain and Inform, Not Just Inform 285
Maestro 289
Writing for Real 295
Notes from Japan 303
Documentary Production and Distribution: Beyond the Year 2000 315
An Interview with Frederick Wiseman 331
An Interview with Albert Maysles 343
Zen and the Art of the Documentary 361
Answers In Blue 369
In Search of Soul 375
The Eye Swims in the Canale Grande 383
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2014

    This book The Search for Reality, is by far the finest work ever

    This book The Search for Reality, is by far the finest work ever written on the subject of documentaries. It should be required reading for every film student, student of new media, of images, of the philosophy of culture and image psychoanalysis. A breakthrough work of art comprising original essays from many of the greatest filmmakers of the past three generations. Tobias has edited a remarkable work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2007

    The Best Book Ever Fashioned on Documentaries

    I made my first documentary film in 1958 and have been continuing to make non-fiction films ever since. This is the only book I ever recommend to colleagues and students The only book that truly touches the international nerve, and comes from the raw heartland of the craft. It is a profound credit to the editor, who conceived of, and fashioned this gorgeous anthology, to have maintained the clarity and truth of the voices included, without bending and tainting them. I was deeply moved by so many of the wise and inspiring pieces and I'm wondering whether the editor would be interested in a film about the book? It could be exceptional. Wonderful job! Congratulations to all involved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2007

    The Best Book Ever Written on Documentaries

    There have been several recent works on documentary filmmaking, and most of them are boring 'how to' books. This is the first truly philosophical ensemble of great filmmakers writing introspectively from around the world on the art and meditation of non-fiction filmmaking. It is a first, a courageous and comprehensive look at what it is that truly counts as fiction, and non-fiction why the schlock world of reality programming is pathetic, and how the truly great documentarians are creating a living, breathing archive that will probably tell us more about who we are then any other contemporary art form. Tobias has assembled a magical crew of thinkers and artists, and fashioned one of the most exciting texts of its kind. Every film students needsw to memorize this work.

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