Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos, Revised Edition

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."

New aspects of this fourth edition include sixteen illustrations, a revised chapter on nonlinear editing, more examples of precise and exacting proposals, and the addition of a complex ...

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Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos, Fourth Edition

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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."

New aspects of this fourth edition include sixteen illustrations, 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. In the chapter called "Family Films," updated information addresses rapid expansion in this genre. A new chapter titled "Making Your First Film" has been added, and discussion of financing, festivals, distribution, and marketing has been enlarged in the chapter "Staying Alive."

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Editorial Reviews

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)
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."—Austin Lamont, commenting on the first edition in 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, studio, editing room, theater, and television. Every new or established documentary filmmaker should read it.”—Donald E. Staples, Univer­sity of North Texas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809320141
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/1996
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Rosenthal was born in England, studied law at Oxford, and has made over 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 Adolf Eichmann: The Secret Memoirs.

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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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