11 Lessons from a Web Series Course

Thanks to a certain online video conferencing software that shall remain nameless, I was able to take a two-day course in developing web series through MyFilmNorth. The course was run by Matt Anderson, the genius behind behind the hilarious Theater People web series. A basic definition for a web series is a series distributed online….

Some News Links about Documentary

Here are some links to sites that cover documentary news and reviews. Documentary Magazine A regular magazine published by the International Documentary Association. DOX Magazine A quarterly magazine published through the European Documentary Network about the documentary community in Europe. Modern Times Review Based in Europe, smart and insightful commentary about documentary that starts from…

Some Documentary Organizations to Check Out

Here are some organizations dedicated to documentary makers and documentary communities. The D-Word Hands down, The D-Word is the most active and supportive documentary community available for documentary makers from newbies to professionals, and all enthusiasts in between. European Documentary Network The European Documentary Network supports documentary film and television makers through education and outreach,…

Some Links Related to Nonfiction Production

Here are some sites that focus on media production, with some emphasis on nonfiction. Learn Documentary Desktop Documentaries Documentary Cameras No Film School Filmmaker IQ

Where to Find Good Writing about Documentary

Here are some links to writers — including creators, critics, scholars, and others — who blog (mostly) regularly about documentary. All These Wonderful Things Though not updated recently, A.J. Schnack’s blog offers some in-depth insights in documentary media and production. Docalogue A monthly curated conversation about documentary hosted by Jaimie Baron and Kristen Fuhs. DocumentaryBusiness.com…

Documentary Conventions

As a type of film or television develops, filmmakers and directors find certain techniques that become useful or effective in creating texts. These techniques get used again and again, and eventually they are associated with and are used to define certain types of texts. The techniques then become known as conventions. Documentary has its fair…

Definitions of Documentary

The word “documentary” defies easy definition. Here are some versions from various reference guides and textbooks: “Documentary concerns itself with representing the observable world, and to this end works with what [John] Grierson called the raw material of reality. The documentarian draws on past and present actuality — the world of social and historical experience…

The Four Fundamental Tendencies of Documentary

In “Toward a Poetics of Documentary,” Michael Renov outlines four tendencies of documentary. He places these tendencies within theories of poetics in order to show that they are products of historical, cultural, and technological contexts. As a result, these tendencies serve as a way to see how to widen the gap between the image and…

Who Defines a Documentary?

Documentary theorist Bill Nichols outlines four groups that define a documentary:  “An institutional framework” “A community of practitioners” “A corpus of texts” “A constituency of viewers” An Institutional Framework Institutional frameworks refer to anyone involved in the distribution and support of documentary. They can be divided into two sub-groups. 1. The first group includes those…

Rotha’s Documentary Traditions

In his book Documentary Film Paul Rotha indentifies four documentary traditions: The Naturalist (Romantic) Tradition This tradition draws on the observation of life being lived in its own natural environment. It involves the filmmaker learning about that life and its customs, much as an ethnographer does while in the field. But this tradition is more…