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Directing the Documentary, 6th Edition by Michael Rabiger

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CHAPTER 7

RESEARCH

 

 

 

Conducting research for initial ideas means immersing yourself, keeping notes, and thinking creatively. This can be slow and uncertain of outcome, so the wise keep more than one documentary pot on the stove. Not only do ideas seem to cross-pollinate, but having back-ups can get you out of a jam. I once had a subject set in Paris collapse a week before the crew arrived. Instead, I hastily developed a topic I noted in a magazine I had read on the plane.

DEVELOPING A PROPOSAL

On finding a subject, novices often feel they must start shooting immediately. And so, without preparation or planning, they shoot … and shoot, and shoot. The problem is that when you run the camera, everything looks equally significant, so you shoot ...

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