…are based in fact, documenting some aspect of life and reality. They can have a powerful social and political influence. As a documentary filmmaker, it is my goal and intention to present material that is honest and well balanced — not merely to support a one-sided point of view or agenda. Though the scenes may be carefully chosen and arranged, they are not scripted, and the people appearing in a documentary are not actors. Some documentaries may rely on voice-over narration or interviews to describe what is happening, or the footage may speak for itself.
Examples of my work:
- PEACEMAKERS ~ Palestinians & Jews Together at Camp
- THE FACES OF CUBA ~ Las Caras De Cuba
- CELEBRATING SISTERS SINGING ~ An Evening of Poetry, Music & Original Art
- DIALOGUE IN NIGERIA ~ Muslims & Christians Creating Their Future
- HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA ~ Highlights of The Heart of Wisdom Teachings
- VIVA CUBA! ~ Santa Cruz–Guamá Sister County Alliance Travelogue
- MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS ~ The Tie That Bonds
- ODELKIS & THE CUBAN FLAG
- ON THE WILD SIDE ~ Meetings With Remarkable Women
Before delving into a documentary project,
I ask myself several important qualifying questions:
- Is the subject timely, important and compelling enough to me to immerse myself in it?
- Are the resources, visuals, interviewees, etc. available and accessible, or will the project require an extensive time commitment and materials and travel budget?
- Am I the appropriate filmmaker to bring this subject matter to the world?
Once I have decided to move forward, this is my general process in beginning production on a new documentary project. Sometimes several steps are active simultaneously:
- I watch other related documentaries to see what is already out there and available to the public. This can help me present a different outlook and angle, and not ‘re-invent the wheel’ by duplicating information.
- I research my subject as thoroughly as possible, through a variety of forms and media.
- I create a structure and outline for my film – a blueprint for shooting. This includes my vision for the general aesthetic look and feel of the film, the possible inclusion of interviews, still photographs, archival footage, music, narration, text, etc.
- I analyze my wants and needs for the film – what resources are easily accessible, what will require more extensive time and energy? I make a Wish List of the resources I might like to have for the film – and ways to go about manifesting them.
- I consider my financing options – grants I might apply for, documentary funding programs, fundraising events, self-funding, etc.
- I set up a Production Schedule and begin shooting.
- I begin the Post-Production process by uploading my footage to my computer. I take stock of my footage through Logging (making notes about usable clips), and prioritizing according to quality and relevance. I bring all related materials together and I edit.
- Once complete, I am eager to share my film with the world! Depending on circumstances, I may upload it to the internet, seek a distributor, send it out to the film festival circuit, host screenings, burn DVDs and get it out and seen far and wide. I breathe a huge sigh of relief for a job well done!