Articles Tagged Documentary

Beg, Borrow, or Steal? Deciphering Fair Use for Filmmakers

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David Van Taylor first engaged questions of Fair Use when he was working on his film Dream Deceivers in 1990, a documentary that explored the lawsuit filed against the heavy-metal band Judas Priest by the family of James Vance, a teenager who tried to commit suicide after smoking marijuana and listening to the group’s lyrics…. Read more »

After the Oscar: An Interview with Cynthia Wade

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As a sophomore at Smith College, Cynthia Wade found herself witness to a small scandal: a friend discovered she was pregnant and decided leave college, marry her boyfriend and have her child, going against the feminist attitude many of her classmates held. So, in true documentarian form, Wade’s first instinct was to get it on… Read more »

2009 Oscar Preview: The Shortlist

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After three-quarters of a century of recognizing excellence in cinema achievement, the Oscar Awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, needs little introduction. Held since 1929, the world famous red-carpet event draws everyone from die-hard celebrity fans to devoted fashion addicts. But anyone hoping for a preview of which major… Read more »

Making the Decision to Re-Release

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In 1981, filmmakers Carolyn Strachan and Alessandro Cavadini received acclaim for Two Laws/Kanymardra Yuwa, a documentary about the struggle for Aboriginal groups from the Northern Territory to live within both their own and Australian law. Screenings in Australia, including at the Sydney Opera house and throughout Europe, eventually brought Strachan to the United States for… Read more »

Distribution by Wal-Mart

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Jeremy Dean found a dusty VHS tape tucked away in the basement of a historical society and was captivated by its the black and white footage of the civil rights struggle. “As I sat alone watching Dr. King speaking to a packed church and the demonstrators fearlessly marching for freedom, it became a key that… Read more »

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Film: "Billy the Kid"

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About this column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales… Read more »

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Film: Made In L.A.

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About this column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales… Read more »

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Film: "Soy Andina"

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About this column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales… Read more »

The 10 Best Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers

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These days, it’s fairly easy to find an excellent place to learn how to make narrative films. Ten Best lists exist by the fistful, and a Google search of “learn filmmaking” returns more than 30,000 hits. But what about those students who want to learn how to make documentaries? Although many of the best programs… Read more »