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Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos / Edition 3

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I can hardly praise this book enough. Should every documentary student read it? Certainly. Should every documentary filmmaker, no matter how experienced they are, read it? Certainly.”—Film Quarterly
 
 

“This book should be called the ‘Documentary Filmmaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ The moral, ethical, aesthetic, and communicative problems of documentary filmmaking are explored through knowledge and experience in the field, the studio, the editing room, theater, and television.”—Donald E. Staples, University of North Texas

“The book is a major contribution to the literature of film teaching.”
International Documentary

Booknews
Television filmmaker Rosenthal offers advice on making documentaries. He follows what he views as the natural progression of the documentary film, starting with discussions of ideas, research, and script structure; proceeding through preproduction and production; and then dealing with editing and commentary writing. He also examines the special considerations for the cases of cinema verite, documentary drama, history documentaries, family films, and industrial and public relations films. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809327423
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Edition description: 4th Edtion
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 743,907
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Revised Edition
Preamble: Preface to the First Edition
1 Introduction 1
Pt. 1 From Idea to First Draft
2 Clearing the Decks 9
3 Getting to Work 19
4 Writing the Proposal 33
5 Research 50
6 Shaping the Film 59
7 Beginning the First Draft 82
8 Completing the First Draft 96
Pt. 2 Preproduction
9 Budget and Contract 129
10 Preproduction Survey 144
Pt. 3 Production
11 The Director Prepares 163
12 Directing the Interview 175
13 On Location 188
Pt. 4 Postproduction
14 Editing 199
15 Writing the Final Narration 219
16 Finishing the Film 254
Pt. 5 Special Cases
17 Cinema Verite 265
18 Documentary Drama 276
19 The History Documentary 297
20 Family Films 307
21 Industrial and Public Relations Films 329
22 Staying Alive 342
Conclusion
23 Problems and Challenges 363
App Budget for a One-Hour Documentary, Peace Process 375
Selected Bibliography 381
Index 383
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