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Directing the Documentary, 5th Edition by Michael Rabiger

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Chapter 18Dramatic Development, Time, and Story Structure

Aiming to change our hearts and minds, documentaries are stories that organize their characters, events, and pressures toward some revelatory purpose. They do this to increase or challenge our knowledge and to alter our emotional frame of reference. This chapter looks at the relationship between the chronology of documented events, their organization into a satisfying dramatic form, and the way a story’s dramatic needs may lead you to reorganize events to give a story more impact.

Plots and Heroes

Plot and the Rules of the Universe

The filmmaker and philosopher Michael Roemer has made the intriguing suggestion that plot is really the rules of the universe at work.1 This explains why ...

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