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Documentary for the Small Screen

Book Description

Film and video have grown to be as significant in our time as books, newspapers and magazines. Documentary film-making is fast becoming as important and useful a skill as the ability to write well. Like writing, it can be learned by anyone.

Film and video have grown to be as significant in our time as books, newspapers and magazines. Documentary film-making is fast becoming as important and useful a skill as the ability to write well. Like writing, it can be learned by anyone.

Documentary for the small screen is both for those who are new to documentary film-making but want to know how to create productions of a professional standard, as well as for those already working in the medium who wish to improve their skills by taking a closer look at the way they carry out their tasks. It is written in a logical, straightforward way, the first half taking the reader through an analysis of what documentary actually is, to constructing it through developing the story and assembling the appropriate building-blocks. In the second part, the pre-production stages of preparing proposals, costings and outlines, and researching the subject are all carefully examined, as are production planning and the shoot, followed by the post-production stages involved in editing and reviewing the completed film.

Paul Kriwaczek is an award winning documentary maker who has a wealth of experience to pass on, having worked for many years at BBC Television where he wrote, directed and produced documentary, drama, music and science programmes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Preface
    1. Why this book?
    2. A note about words
  8. I The Nature of Television Documentary
    1. 1 Introduction
      1. Haven’t I seen you on TV?
      2. Smaller, faster, better, cheaper…
      3. A heady time
    2. 2 What is a Television Documentary?
      1. Showing not telling
      2. The melting pot
      3. 57 different varieties
    3. 3 How do we Start?
      1. This is how we see the world
    4. 4 Telling the Story
      1. The subject
      2. The thread
      3. Change
      4. Beginning and ending
      5. The intention
      6. Film time
  9. II Constructing a Television Documentary
    1. Section A: Building the Story
      1. A view of the real world
      2. 5 The Building Blocks
        1. Pictures and words
        2. Acts and sections
        3. Scenes and sequences
        4. The narrative scene
        5. Description and exposition
        6. The interview
        7. Titles and junctions
        8. End credits
    2. Section B: The Tools
      1. 6 The Lens
        1. Focal length
        2. Aperture
        3. Depth of field
      2. 7 The Microphone
    3. Section C: Building the Form
      1. 8 The Frame
        1. Camera placement
        2. Shot size
          1. The wide shot
          2. The long shot
          3. Group shots
          4. The full and mid shots
          5. The medium close-up
          6. Close-ups
        3. The talking head
      2. 9 The Shot
        1. The narrative of the shot
        2. Speed of movement
        3. Direction of movement
        4. Subject and camera movement
        5. Motivation
        6. Zoom and track
        7. Pan and crab
        8. Crane and tilt
        9. Crash zoom and whip pan
        10. Combined movements
        11. The hand-held shot
        12. Shot sound
      3. 10 The Sequence
        1. The choice of shots
        2. Continuity
        3. Cut-aways and cut-ins
        4. Pace
        5. Rhythm
        6. Sequence sound
        7. Sequence music
        8. Sequence narration
        9. The cut
        10. Matching the shots
        11. The fade and the dissolve
        12. Image manipulation
  10. III Producing a Television Documentary
    1. Section A: Pre-production
      1. 11 The Proposal
        1. Where?
        2. Who?
        3. What?
      2. 12 Costing a Production
        1. The schedule
          1. Development
          2. Pre-production
          3. Production
          4. Post-production
        2. Budgeting notes
          1. Production staff
          2. Contributors’ fees
          3. Production expenses
          4. Production office costs
          5. Purchased materials
          6. Facilities’ costs
          7. Costume, make-up, scenery, props, VisFx
          8. Shooting, lighting and sound
          9. Editing
          10. Stock and duplicating
          11. Graphics
          12. Music
      3. 13 Outline, Treatment, Script
        1. Outline
        2. Treatment
        3. Script
      4. 14 Research
        1. Content research
        2. Production research
        3. People
        4. Locations
        5. Events
        6. Other materials
        7. The research report
    2. Section B: Production
      1. 15 Production Planning
        1. Managing the team
        2. Preparation
      2. 16 The Shoot
        1. The shooting day
    3. Section C: Post-production
      1. 17 Editing
        1. The editor
        2. Editing technologies
        3. Viewing the rushes
        4. The rough cut
        5. The fine cut
        6. Sound editing
        7. Music
        8. Track laying and dubbing
      2. 18 The Review
        1. What’s it all for?