The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros
This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.
stretch the form and blur the line between fiction and non-fiction.
I guess I'd define it as, hmmm... I think I better think some more
before I answer ;-)
always come back, and it would be valuable to have the answers
semi-documentary." said Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures: quoted
by Fred Zinneman in his autobiography.
I don't necessarily concur with this opinion, but there you go.
presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a
factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news
films or interviews accompanied by narration."
Actually, got this at www.dictionary.com. And it's about 20 years
out of date!
Today, it's more like... a story with a sweeping dramatic arc,
featuring fascinating characters in a highly unusal situation of great
conflict, where the filmmakers had complete access at all times.
Sound like fiction films? Well, check out the HBO schedule sometime.
may have. Many thanks again, you guys are great.
viewers' curiosity alive.
Documentaries are made out of responsibility and manage to make the
viewers aware of their responsibility.
documentary on a local heavyweight bower and have had several
inquires already about it. My question is regarding license fees and
broadcasting rights, how much ? One partcular inquiry came from a tv
station in Indonesia ! I would like to have some idea of the price
range before I blunder in and blow the whole deal! Any information
would be greatly appreciated
the Jan Rofekamp conference we just held, and especially the link to
his report on the state of the international marketplace.
give dollar values for television sales in various countries that are
fairly reliable in giving a ballpark.
little-known performer (now deceased). I have many photos from the
subjects personal collection, performance stills and studio shots
(for PR). Several dozen I want to use are unattributed... and most
are decades old and none of the surviving friends or relatives have
any idea of who the photogs were. I remember seeing a documentary
several years ago that had something in the end credits along the
lines of acknowledging these unattributed photos... anyone have any
thoughts on this?
to put it a different way, what's the point?
to: "The producers have made every effort to attribute
photographs used in this film from the private collections... yada
yada..." which is to ward off lawsuits. In my case this is the
situation... I have made every effort but still want to use these
unattributed photos. Just wondered if anyone else has been in
this position. It is maddening. Thank goodness, just today I got
in touch with a retired big name photog who has many shots that
I need in his files... but I would love to hear from anyone who has
used unattributed photos as cutaways. Thanks!
Sound" (http://www.pbs.org/pov/sweetestsound/). He used a lot of
archival family film shots at the beginning (the kind of strange
stuff you find at garage sales) and then ended the film with
something along the lines of "If you know any of the folks in these
films, contact me."
As for your question, I think that if the photos are from the
performer's personal collection, he (or his family) owns the rights.
When you say "studio shots," I assume you mean like a Sears studio
rather than Warner Bros. If the latter, you might need rights from
the movie studio.
link too! Craig
production world for a long time and am making my first
documentary. I am just beginning the film festival application
process. Does anyone know anything about how to write a good
synopsis of your documentary for these applications? Is there a
book I can buy? Any advice, tips, information would be greatly
There are lots of examples of the materials prepared for PR including synopsis, fact sheets, etc.
Good luck! Craig
Market's No Borders section. Go to: www.ifp.org. You could also go
to IFP's office in NYC and look at back copies of their market
catalogues. AIVF's office in NY has an extensive library which could
There's also the Sundance website, where they have the past few
year's catalogues archived. For your purposes, that might be best of
all. I think it's www.sundance.org.
Good luck, Olympia!
of a large format dv tape going to a mini-dv. I don't want a composite
transfer bc I don't want to lose a generation. Does anyone know where
to get this done? Thank
you, but maybe you can woo me with your expertise?
I'm interested in any info on setting up a Final Cut Pro system that
I'm not likely to get from the Apple people, or any opinions from
people who've used the system in different forms. Specifically, what
types of decks, drives, other accessories are best or preferable? It
might be helpful to know that the project for which I'm inquiring is
being shot on PAL/16x9/DVCAM.
Thank you all!
for everything auhoritative you NEED to know about fcp
posted elsewhere. (it contains a new question)
I'm a filmmaker (12 years in the industry) and I'm about to embark
on my first documentary feature.
My topic is rather unique, so I can't reveal it online. Due to the
timely nature of my piece and my relative inexperience in the field,
I'd like to ask some seasoned pros a few key questions regarding:
1. co-productions, ie. finding the right partner(s) to help finance
and/or distribute my feature doc.
2. acquiring film clips and still photos, fair usage laws and public
3. the discovery of copyrights for films already made, plus
discovery of underlying literary rights of such films.
Any help would be appreciated! I can be reached at