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Planet Takeout

Planet Takeout | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

An Interactive Documentary - Documenting life on both sides of the Chinese takeout counter in the neighborhoods of Boston and beyond. A project of @chingchong and @WGBH, @zeega & #Localore.

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Documentary Landscapes
A look at documentary filmmaking practices and how they're evolving
Curated by Justin Nalepa
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Iconic Editor Thelma Schoonmaker Shares What She's Learned from 50 Years of Filmmaking

Iconic Editor Thelma Schoonmaker Shares What She's Learned from 50 Years of Filmmaking | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker has collaborated with Martin Scorsese for essentially the entire length of both of their careers, starting with Scorsese's feature Who's That Knocking at My Door?. Needless to say, this 3-time Oscar winner, with nearly a half a century of filmmaking experience, has insight into the craft that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, and fortunately for us, Schoonmaker has shared 8 Golden Rules of filmmaking with MovieMaker Magazine, and we've selected a few to share with you.
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Documentary today: what are critics and curators looking for?

Documentary today: what are critics and curators looking for? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
What stands out in a saturated market? Find out what today's documentary critics and curators are looking for in a successful documentary feature.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A few thoughts on what makes a good doc work.

I think this comment is quite apt:  “When you’re watching it, and it’s something that you didn’t expect, then it works.” 

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The Really Good Things In FilmBiz 2014

The Really Good Things In FilmBiz 2014 | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Some rituals help keep us focused throughout the year. This marks the 4th time I have looked back at all the good things that occurred in the film biz and listed them out for all of us. Tracking them through year, keeps me from abandoning hope. Sometimes they may just be the silver lining in the storm cloud, but nonetheless they keep me going, keep me convinced that in fact we truly are: building it better together.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some positive remarks from Ted Hope on this past year of film and film business.

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Online Chat with The Act of Killing Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer - YouTube

POV’s Google+ conversation with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing (POV 2014); The Look of Silence) on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 1-2 PM ET (10-11 AM PT). He’ll be taking your questions on making one of the most lauded documentaries of 2013, and discussing the lessons he’s learned and challenges he’s faced during his filmmaking career.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Had a great opportunity to ask Joshua a couple of questions about his filmmaking process.

 

A couple of quick observations:

 

1. (On filming) Follow people's reactions, not their words

2. (On being a first time filmmaker) Allow yourself as much time as you need to fully explore your subject

3. (On filming) You should be merciless, don't flinch

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5 Things to Remember When Making Your First Documentary

5 Things to Remember When Making Your First Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
There's no denying it -- docs are hot. Between HBO's high-gloss productions, Netflix's rise in documentaries, the influx of Kickstarter/Indieigogo campaigns, and the democratization of filmmaking gear via iPhones and cheap cameras, docs are everywher...
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some thoughtful tips on making your first documentary.

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Time to Stop Using the Term "Fly on the Wall" for Documentary

Time to Stop Using the Term "Fly on the Wall" for Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Critics continue to lazily use the term "fly on the wall" when reviewing more observationally motivated documentaries, but the phrase is wrong and dated.
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5 Essential Tips on Producing Documentaries

5 Essential Tips on Producing Documentaries | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Thinking of producing a documentary? Keep these tips from the DOC NYC Masterclass on Producing in mind.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

1. Get shit done.

2. Story structure matters.

3. Make it as strong as possible.

4. Every subject is worthy.

5. The director doesn't need to know everything.

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The Look of Silence Official Trailer (2015) - Joshua Oppenheimer Documentary

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Looking forward to seeing Oppenheimer's follow-up and companion doc to The Act of Killing. 

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National Gallery (2014) Movie Review

National Gallery (2014) Movie Review | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Frederick Wiseman's 'National Gallery' is another masterpiece of documentary, this one focused on London's art museum and a theme on of ways of seeing.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A look at Wiseman's newest documentary, National Gallery, which explores the world of London's art museum.

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A Massive List of Grants Part 3: Fall Deadlines Filmmakers Should Know About

A Massive List of Grants Part 3: Fall Deadlines Filmmakers Should Know About | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Welcome to the Fall Edition of upcoming opportunities for filmmakers! Hopefully this massive list of grants can point you in the right direction for funding.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A great list pulled together by nofilmschool.

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From Concept to Final Cut: 10 Tips on Making a Documentary

From Concept to Final Cut: 10 Tips on Making a Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Documentarians Lauren Greenfield and Kirby Dick didn't shy away from the tough filmmaking questions at the Sundance Institute's inaugural documentary ShortsLab
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Michael Moore's 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films

Michael Moore's 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
During his keynote at the Toronto International Film Festival’s sixth annual Doc Conference, Michael Moore shared his advice to documentary filmmakers, beginnin
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some interesting thoughts from Michael Moore at this year's TIFF Doc Conference. 

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What I Learned After Conducting 40+ Interviews for My First Feature Documentary

What I Learned After Conducting 40+ Interviews for My First Feature Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

You’ve got a great idea for film, and it just so happens to be a true story. Best of all, the main character is fantastic and you can’t wait to get him or her on camera! But once you start rolling, and sit back and wait for the magic to happen — pfft. Your interview is a dud. What went wrong? Getting a person’s story on camera is an elusive process, and since I just spent over five years working on a short and a feature in which I conducted over 40 interviews, I thought I’d share a list of things that I picked up along the way that might help you.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very well thought out list that you will help you prepare for your interviews.

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Chart: What the documentary ‘Blackfish’ has done to SeaWorld

Chart: What the documentary ‘Blackfish’ has done to SeaWorld | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
More damage than you think.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Great to see a documentary having such an impact.

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8 Things You Must Know About the Film Business Today, from James Schamus

8 Things You Must Know About the Film Business Today, from James Schamus | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

At the PGA East's Produced By Conference in October, former Focus Features CEO James Schamus offered up a treasure trove of wisdom about the film industry. 

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Nothing quite new, but it's interesting to note that the possibilities for digital distribution are still being figured out and the potential is there for all filmmakers.

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Ten Really Bad Things in Film Biz 2014

Ten Really Bad Things in Film Biz 2014 | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
By detailing what we have failed to do, done wrong or continue to ignore, we build a road map of how we can improve things for the future.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some very great points about the current film industry and the growing trends within it. The challenge being, how do we adapt to these changes as filmmakers and professionals within this industry?

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Walter Murch and the 'Rule of Six' – Film Editing - Video & Filmmaker magazine

Walter Murch and the 'Rule of Six' – Film Editing - Video & Filmmaker magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Multiple Oscar winning film editor & sound designer Walter Murch‘s distinguished 50-year career reads like a ‘best of’ list of feature films. His work...
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some helpful reminders when editing your film. Emotion>Story>Rhythm are so important for connecting to your audience.

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Attention, Documentary Filmmakers: 8 Tips on Pitching Your Project

Attention, Documentary Filmmakers: 8 Tips on Pitching Your Project | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Ease the anxiety of pitching with wise words from industry professionals at DOC NYC.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I think the most important tip has to be the "Why you?" question you have to ask yourself. Access is key, but having that personal connection or compelling reason that makes you want to create this film is the passion that drives the project. Without it, the rest doesn't really matter.

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Sundance's Tabitha Jackson on Why This is the Golden Age of Documentaries

Sundance's Tabitha Jackson on Why This is the Golden Age of Documentaries | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
This may be the best time to be a documentary filmmaker (but the worst time to make a career out of it).
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Tabitha to aspiring documentary filmmakers: "I think as an artist your responsibility is to your art. So find your voice and speak your truth, and that is the best thing you can do as an artist"

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“The Lingua Franca of Non-Fiction Filmmaking Should be the Language of Cinema, Not Grant Applications”: Sundance Documentary Film Program Director Tabitha Jackson at DOC NYC | Filmmaker Magazine

“The Lingua Franca of Non-Fiction Filmmaking Should be the Language of Cinema, Not Grant Applications”: Sundance Documentary Film Program Director Tabitha Jackson at DOC NYC | Filmmaker Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
“We have to make artful films,” declared Tabitha Jackson at this morning's DOC NYC keynote. Her thoughtful and engaging address -- accompanied, half-jokingly,
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Jackson illustrated her point with a list of values expressed as binaries in which documentary is “painting, not illustration”; “metaphor, not simile”; “the question, not the answer,” and “empathy, not sympathy.” 

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5 Questions To Ask Before Making A Documentary

5 Questions To Ask Before Making A Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
What the filmmakers behind “E-TEAM” needed to answer before moving forward.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Questions to think upon before pursuing your documentary subject:

 

1. Why should this be a movie, and not, say, a podcast, or an article?


2. Do we really want to spend the next few years with these people?


3. What’s going to be different, challenging and interesting about making this movie?


4. How do we know when to stop filming?


5. What can we do to make this movie something that people will want to see, out of a sense of curiosity or desire, not out of a sense of obligation?

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Whiteness Project

Whiteness Project | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The Whiteness Project is a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

An interesting look into how White Americans perceive their own ethnicity. A conversation starter for sure.

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The State of the Art, Part II: Documentary Aesthetics - NFB/blog

The State of the Art, Part II: Documentary Aesthetics - NFB/blog | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

What shapes and forms do non-fiction film and video take? What techniques and visual languages are making docs look and feel the way they do today? And, most importantly, what’s stirring the hearts and minds of audiences?

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Is Michael Moore Right About Documentary Filmmakers? Documentary Filmmakers Respond

Is Michael Moore Right About Documentary Filmmakers? Documentary Filmmakers Respond | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Michael Moore thinks documentaries need to stop lecturing so much and be more entertaining. Is he right? We reached out to a selection of documentary directors
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very poignant statement about documentary filmmaking today from Joe Berlinger:

"In today's world where serious journalism is under attack, we need serious, social issue filmmaking more than ever.  Print journalism has been gutted and the corporate control of most networks has meant certain subjects are off limits out of fear of offending advertisers. So, most of the important social issue reporting is being done by independent documentarians who often take great risks to bring their stories to the screen."

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Why Aren’t There More DPs-Turned-Directors?

Why Aren’t There More DPs-Turned-Directors? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
We chat with some top cinematographers about the challenges of taking the reins.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Something I struggle with myself as a filmmaker. I enjoy shooting so much, but also find it hard to let someone else make the decisions as to what stays in the film. 

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