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With portable cameras and affordable data and non-linear digital editing, I think this is a golden age of documentary filmmaking. These new technologies mean we can make complicated, beautifully crafted and cinematic films about real-life stories.
In the U.S., the '50s and '60s marked the documentary's golden age, especially at CBS, where pioneering television journalist Edward R. Murrow, immortalised in George Clooney's 'Good Night, and Good Luck,' produced such landmark investigations as the CBS Reports programme 'Hunger in America.'
It had an enormous impact to the point of the United Nations passing a resolution against the killing and hunting of these whales as they are an endangered species. This was a documentary on the plight of the whales.
I'm always reaching for something we really haven't done, and War of the Worlds has a lot of this sort of documentary look to it and first-person camera view that is a new thing for me. I've done some stuff like that before, but nothing like the extent of this and digitally.
Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?
I like the idea of the documentary as a portrait. There's not a chronological beginning, middle, and end structure. You build something in the editing room that's shaped by getting to know the person and digging deeper, unpeeling the layers of them as you get to know them.
After months of playing air guitar to 'Free Bird', what really got me into guitar was watching a documentary about Jimi Hendrix and picking up the Woodstock soundtrack. Listening to his version of 'Star Spangled Banner' and 'Purple Haze.' My brother played acoustic guitar and, idolising him, I thought, 'I'm going to get a guitar.'
Films are always a fiction, not documentary. Even a documentary is a kind of fiction.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
I agreed to film after my rookie year in Golden State. I was more used to cameras and felt that my journey to the NBA was a story worth sharing. Little did we know how much bigger the platform and documentary would become after Linsanity.
I remember when I took Quentin Tarantino with me to a very private screening of the documentary 'Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,' which shows some of the legal irregularities of his case. I was involved by the film, and it was an amazing experience to see people weep at the end of it.
The first time I thought about attempting a body suspension was after watching a documentary on rites-of-passage ceremonies from other cultures. I was completely intrigued by what these people put their bodies through.
Doing a documentary is about discovering, being open, learning, and following curiosity.
For me, documentary photography has always come with great responsibility. Not just to tell the story honestly and with empathy, but also to make sure the right people hear it. When you photograph somebody who is in pain or discomfort, they trust you to make sure the images will act as their advocate.
My friends adore 'TOWIE' - the TV documentary series, 'The Only Way is Essex.' They like it, I'm afraid, for the most unworthy of reasons: class mockery. They tune in to wonder in a 'can you believe those people?' way at the natives of Brentwood and Buckhurst Hill.
My instinct was that it was Sidney's childhood in the Bahamas that gave him the fearlessness to fight racism. So this documentary was a kind of rounding out of what had begun in that scene in In the Heat of the Night.
In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
The video for 'Whatever' is kind of a documentary in a way. It's showing that love can last. Not just in your early 20s or your late 30s, but in your 50s, 60s and 70s. There's an awful myth out there that when you get married, love and lovemaking fade. It's not true.
The best films of any kind, narrative or documentary, provoke questions.
On 'The Office,' so much of the show is about disguising your true feelings and your romantic feelings because it was a mock documentary.
The great thing about 'The Office' and it being single-camera and the documentary style is that it's mostly a comedy, but 10 percent of it is, we get to show the existential angst that exists in the American workplace.
Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.
You know, the process of making a documentary is one of discovery, and like writing a story, you follow a lead and that leads you to something else and then by the time you finish, the story is nothing like you expected.
I've been encouraging documentary filmmakers to use more and more humor, and they're loath to do that because they think if it's a documentary it has to be deadly serious - it has to be like medicine that you're supposed to take. And I think it's what keeps the mass audience from going to documentaries.
I didn't realize that, in doing a documentary, there is this process of discovery. It's not like a film or a play with a set script. It sort of reveals itself.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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