Are you ready for Stratford’s first ever DocFest? If you’re inspired by what you see on the DocFest screens, the second edition of this book, Making Documentary Films and Videos will put you in great shape to film you own documentary that just might be in DocFest’s line-up for next year. Considered the handbook for documentary film making, author Barry Hampe takes you through every step – no step too small – in the process. Starting off there is are chapters about what a documentary is, and what it should not be (hint: most YouTube clips are not documentaries, and neither is Survivor.) After the theory, Hampe shows how to plan a documentary before even picking up a camera, from what to show, how to do interviews, how to document past history, and the all important image and information ethics of responsible documentaries (for example, using sound bytes from the nightly news out of context to support a subject isn’t documenting, it’s docuganda. Fahrenheit 9/11 is used as an example of this.) Hampe deconstructs the research and writing process (yes, there should be a script to follow, if not word for word), and then gets into the fun part – the filming, recording sound, directing, locations. After the fun part comes the hard part, post-production and selling the film, but Hampe walks through these steps as well. There are useful appendices on equipment, budgeting and crews, a filmography of documentaries mentioned in the text (so you can see his examples of techniques), advice on what to study if documentary-making is your dream future, an all-important index for quick reference, and the author even includes contact information in case filmmakers have further questions. Ready, set, action!


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