The Documentary is gaining more acceptance and popularity as of Late. Recently documentaries have been gaining some box office success/DVD success. Examples include: Inconvenient Truth, Super Size Me, and the Recent “Exit Thru the Gift Shop”. (One of my fav documentaries of all time by the way!) Documentaries are popular among indie filmmakers as you don’t really need a full script, they’re cheaper to produce, you don’t really need to hire any actors and you don’t really need to get any permits for shooting on location. You mainly need some quality footage about your subject and interviews. ‘Exit Thru the Gift Shop’ has some of the most amazing street art footage ever captured and great interviews with famous/infamous street artists.
If you’ve ever seen a documentary then you know what I’m talking about when I say that they’re cheaper to produce. You don’t really have to build any sets, there aren’t any action scenes that need choreography (unless you capture some amazing viral stuff), you don’t really need to hire any actors either, unless there are segments where you need re-enactments, and unless you decide to shoot in public areas you don’t need expensive permits. You can get your vision and opinion out the the public and an affordable rate. The bad news is that there are A LOT of documentaries out there so it’ll be difficult to get your film noticed. The reason ‘Exit Thru the Gift Shop’ became so successful and popular was because the story was extremely relevant and interesting to this generation, had a point to teach the masses about what is art and what it means to be a street artist, and of course, it was really, really good.
Documentary shorts are fairly regular. It just takes a lot of pre-planning as you need to interview the right people and get the right shots. You’ll need the standard crew, the most important probably is the Camera Operator and the Producer who will be asking the questions. Depending on your question the producer might be in the line of fire a lot, Think Michael Moore interviewing Charlton Heston in ‘Bowling for Columbine.’ So the Producer has to be bold and willing to ask the hard questions to get the shot desired. It’s up to the filmmaker on how much they’ll do in order to get a shot, just be sure you have a crew that will be willing to go that far too.
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