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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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Winners of 3 Min Filmmaking Contest Pull $200,000 | Chase Jarvis Blog

Winners of 3 Min Filmmaking Contest Pull $200,000 | Chase Jarvis Blog | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
GE's Focus Forward film contest winners create some spectacular 3 min films on some mind-bending concepts - gets my juices flowing. Well worth the watch.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

These are some incredible stories and the videos are equally exceptional. Some of the best work I've seen and I really like the three minute format. It's a perfect fit for the story and visuals, driving home the message behind these great works and projects.

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Doc Soup: Should Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Go To Film School? | Doc Soup | POV Blog | PBS

Doc Soup: Should Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Go To Film School? | Doc Soup | POV Blog | PBS | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Doc Soup Man Tom Roston tackles the age-old question with input from self-taught filmmaker Matt Morris, professional doc director Brent Huffman, and Jan Krawitz, the head of Stanford's documentary MFA program.
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The Revolution Movie | By filmmaker and eco-warrior, Rob Stewart l WWF-Canada Blog

The Revolution Movie | By filmmaker and eco-warrior, Rob Stewart l WWF-Canada Blog | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

I used to think saving sharks was the most important issue on the planet, but after Sharkwater was released, I met with numerous scientists and conservationists who told me: “What you’re doing is great, but you’re missing the point. We’re going to lose everything, and if we do, there won’t be any sharks left to save. By the middle of this century, we could have no fish in the sea, no coral reefs, no rainforests, nine billion people without enough food, and a planet that can’t sustain many forms of life.” That’s when I set out to make Revolution.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Conservation, climate change, environmental sustainability...they're all really important issues that need to be addressed and time to do so is running out. Rob Stewart's new film takes a global perspective on the current issues which threaten the preservation and continuance of life on this planet.

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Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models?

Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
This year, if you held your ear to the Oscar keyhole and listened hard enough, you might have discerned a slight disquiet. "Very strong category," people were saying about the nominees for Best Documentary Feature.

Via i-Docs
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Loved Searching For Sugar Man, such an inspirational film and great story. The Invisible War was likewise a compelling story on the current crises within the US military, however, I saw neither in theatres. In fact, the only documentary I was able to see outside of film festivals in theatres this year was Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell. 

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VOD for Everyone? Vimeo's Blake Whitman Tells Us About Opening Up Self-Distribution With Vimeo On Demand

VOD for Everyone? Vimeo's Blake Whitman Tells Us About Opening Up Self-Distribution With Vimeo On Demand | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Vimeo's announcement today at SXSW that the company is launching a self-distribution service has the potential to be a major tool for independent filmmakers.
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Sundance Programmer Mike Plante On Going Places with Short Films

Sundance Programmer Mike Plante On Going Places with Short Films | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The Independent Filmmaker Project fosters the development, production and promotion of hundreds of feature and documentary films a year.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

My belief is that if your story is compelling, it doesn't matter what length your film may be. In fact, I think that short films today hold more weight with the internet being a more viable platform for shorter length content. 

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A growing push for data-driven documentary filmmaking | Current.org

A growing push for data-driven documentary filmmaking | Current.org | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Wendy Levy, the director of arts consultancy group New Arts AXIS, called for documentary filmmakers to embrace big data tools as a permanent part of their storytelling process during the keynote address at the Media That Matters Conference, held Feb. 15 in Washington, D.C.

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Sundance 2013: List of Cameras Directors Used Shows Variety

Sundance 2013: List of Cameras Directors Used Shows Variety | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The list of cameras directors used in Sundance Films show there are no sacred cows when it comes to getting the right shot.
Justin Nalepa's insight:
Something I've always believed in and agree with: the best camera for the job isn't necessarily the most expensive.
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Fair Trade for Filmmakers: Is It Time For Festivals To Share Their Revenue?

Fair Trade for Filmmakers: Is It Time For Festivals To Share Their Revenue? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Over the past 20 years or so, film festivals have beget more film festivals like rabbits on alkyl nitrates.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Really intersting debate over whether or not filmmakers should make money from film festivals.

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Hermine Muskat on the importance of production still photographs | The Independent

Hermine Muskat on the importance of production still photographs | The Independent | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

In their minimalism and stillness, photographs can capture the essence of a movie. They tell us the mood of the story we can expect to see unfold on screen and particular still images have become iconic in the world of cinema. Think of Jack Nicholson’s wild-eyed, unshaven, sinister grin captured by Murray Close for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, for example.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some very important considerations for filmmakers during production

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Sundance ’13: Brains and Braun

Sundance ’13: Brains and Braun | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Submarine Entertainment founders Josh and Dan Braun (pictured, left and right) have been behind some of the biggest theatrical doc deals of the past year, repping the directors of hits such as Searching for Sugar Man and The Imposter.
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The Really Bad Things In The Indie Film Biz 2012

The Really Bad Things In The Indie Film Biz 2012 | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

I can’t always be optimistic.  My apologies.

 

I did start this HopeForFilm / TrulyFreeFilm blog in the hopes that community action could improve things for us all.  My original lists of 75 problems of indie film remain relevant, alas; and with this latest addition we are almost at 100 such challenges.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Some very valid points about the current situation for independent filmmaking.

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Documenting 24 Hours In The Lives Of Transportation Workers Across the Globe

Documenting 24 Hours In The Lives Of Transportation Workers Across the Globe | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
What’s it like to be a trolley conductor in San Francisco? A taxi driver in New York City? How about a rickshaw driver in India?
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Closing NAB 2013 Thoughts: Why Adobe Anywhere is the Only Tool That Will Actually Make You a Better Filmmaker | FilmmakerIQ.com

Closing NAB 2013 Thoughts: Why Adobe Anywhere is the Only Tool That Will Actually Make You a Better Filmmaker | FilmmakerIQ.com | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Simply explained- Adobe Anywhere is a private editing cloud that enables film/video businesses to collaborate on the same project, accessing same assets and media, from anywhere that has a robust internet connection.


But the key to the Adobe Anywhere concept is how Adobe approaches the idea of collaboration. I spent an hour at NAB 2013 chatting with Michael Coleman, Senior Product Manager overseeing Adobe Anywhere, throwing all sorts of workflow questions at him to see where the gotcha was. But it became clear that this wasn’t a tagged on service – Adobe Anywhere is the opening salvo in a new way of thinking about collaboration and editing.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Collaboration is the key, and Adobe Anywhere will have a huge impact on businesses and filmmakers going forward.

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How to Make Your First Film Halfway Across the World with No Money and Get Picked Up by Oscilloscope - NoFilmSchool

How to Make Your First Film Halfway Across the World with No Money and Get Picked Up by Oscilloscope - NoFilmSchool | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

It’s the stuff of dreams. Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq started out on a no-budget journey to make their first film about one man, a non-proselytizing humanitarian in Pakistan named Edhi. The film, These Birds Walk, just premiered at SXSW to sold out crowds, with Oscilloscope Laboratories coming on board in their first-ever producing role; the film will probably play in theaters later this year. Our Q&A follows.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A great interview with first time filmmakers Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq about their creative process behind These Birds Walk as well as current cinematic forms and techniques in the realm of documentary.

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The One Question Every Festival Needs to Ask Itself: Why?

The One Question Every Festival Needs to Ask Itself: Why? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Former Hot Docs Director of Programming, Sean Farnel kicked up a bit of a shitstorm recently by re-igniting the age-old debate on whether festivals should pay filmmakers for playing their films. Soon enough the festival blogosphere raised its head and shot down the argument once again. Tom Hall did a great job of laying out the economic issues faced by all fests. Heather Croall did a good job of bringing up the other value a fest brings to filmmakers, and in a brilliant comment to her post from Nick Fraser, we got some finger wagging at some other culprits in the not-paying-the-filmmaker-

enough arena.

 

But whether or not a festival can or should pay is ultimately just the first question we should ask, and then we should quickly move on to the deeper, thornier questions that might actually lead to some meaningful change. Such as? Well, such as: why have film festivals at all?

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A look at film festivals and their role in the current realm of independent filmmaking.

 

Also worth reading is this thought provoking article from Brian Newman:

 

http://www.sub-genre.com/post/45758149644/hyper-professionalization-and-atrophy-in-indie-film

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Definition Magazine - Def Mag - GoPro 3 Black Gets Turned Into A Camera That Every Cinematographer Wants

Definition Magazine - Def Mag - GoPro 3 Black Gets Turned Into A Camera That Every Cinematographer Wants | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

A newly released digital cinema camera called the Novo is designed to provide filmmakers with the power and versatility of the GoPro Hero3 but with fewer cinematic limitations.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Great concept, if only the cameras were to become widely available to cinematographers and filmmakers alike.

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The Documentary Download Dilemma

The Documentary Download Dilemma | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Documentary sharing sites - a force for good or a drain from makers' pocketbooks? Or both?
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very interesting debate about documentary programming and its online presence.

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Reinvention Stories

Reinvention Stories | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
In 2008, Forbes Magazine labeled Dayton, Ohio as one of the fastest dying cities in the nation. The GM plant had shuttered its doors, longtime residents were fleeing the city and those who stayed were trying to figure out, "What now?" Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar were like many Dayton residents, disappointed by the dismal labeling of their city. Dayton is a city of inventors, after all, home to the Wright Brothers and birthplace of inventions like the pop-top can and the first electronic cash register. But it was also a place struggling with unemployment and depopulation. They decided to head out into the city and start asking people what they had been doing since the recession hit. What were they before? What happened? Who did they become?
Justin Nalepa's insight:

"The launch of Act One, which follows the lives of six people as they begin that first step of reinvention and takes the audience on a journey through the city of Dayton, as seen through its residents." Zeega has teamed up with filmmakers Julia and Steve to deliver an interactive film experience. 

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Judge Denies City’s Bid for Outtakes of Movie on Central Park Jogger Case

Judge Denies City’s Bid for Outtakes of Movie on Central Park Jogger Case | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
A judge ruled that the outtakes of Ken Burns’s movie about the Central Park jogger case, which is the subject of a pending lawsuit, are protected as journalism.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A victory for POV journalists and documentary filmmakers.

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RedShark News - Exclusive - Digital Bolex interview: 16mm for the 21st Century?

RedShark News - Exclusive - Digital Bolex interview: 16mm for the 21st Century? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

A Kickstarter-funded digital 16mm camera is one of 2012's most intriguing stories.  RedShark's reporter Peter Haas talks to Joe Rubinstein, co-founder of Digital Bolex

Justin Nalepa's insight:

I love the look, features, and price point of this camera. Looking forward to taking it for test drive when it becomes available. For the full image gallery reveal of the camera, check out:

 

http://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/425-digital-bolex-actual-body-revealed-in-detail

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Ten Tips on Shooting Low-Budget Movies from SXSW | Filmmaker Magazine

Ten Tips on Shooting Low-Budget Movies from SXSW | Filmmaker Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

At SXSW a panel titled “The Great Cinematography Shootout” gathered a group of directors and cinematographers to discuss independent film lensing in an age of proliferating formats and lower-cost, high-quality cameras, like the Canon 5D.

 

The directors of photography were Jody Lee Lipes (Girls, Tiny Furniture, and also the director of Opus Jazz), James Laxton (Medicine for Melancholy, Leave Me Like You Found Me), Clay Lifford (Gayby, and also the director of such films as Wuss and Earthling), PJ Raval (Trouble the Water, Sunset Stories, and also the director of Trinidad); and filmmaker, editor and d.p. David Lowery (Pioneer, and, as d.p. Audrey the Trainwreck). Here, from the d.p.’s, are ten tips for those looking to shoot smart-looking films on a low budget.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Key advice for low-budget filmmakers and cinematographers.

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HALLIEabf's comment, July 19, 2:58 AM
amazing tips
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BEYOND the BOX - What Makes a Good Work-in-Progress?

BEYOND the BOX - What Makes a Good Work-in-Progress? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Here at ITVS, one of the most asked questions is “What Makes a Good Work in Progress?”.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer.  The answer can vary depending on what material you have, the style of your film, what stage of production you’re in, etc.

 

Over the next three days, we will share the experiences of three ITVS-funded producers who successfully submitted their work-in-progress samples to our Open Call initiative.

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Richard Pryor and Dick Cheney Focus of Showtime Documentaries

Richard Pryor and Dick Cheney Focus of Showtime Documentaries | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Richard Pryor, Dick Cheney and Muammar el-Qaddafi are among the personalities that will be the focus of Showtime’s new documentary features.
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Top 10 Posts of 2012: Filmmaking Tips to Kickstart the New Year

Top 10 Posts of 2012: Filmmaking Tips to Kickstart the New Year | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

2012 is done and gone, and the world is still standing. While there wasn’t a cosmic revolution of the Mayan-apocalyptic sort, you can start your own microcosmic revolution...

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Via @lafemmecherita

 

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