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Documentary Storytelling, 2nd Edition by Sheila Curran Bernard

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9

Casting

Not all documentary filmmakers would call it “casting,” yet all would agree that the people you see on screen—whether they’re interacting with each other, talking to an off-screen interviewer, or acting as narrator or host—need to be researched, contacted, and brought onto the project with care. Decisions about who will be filmed, how they will be chosen, and what they’re expected to contribute to the storytelling are important. Even the people who appear through archival means, whether in archival footage or through a reading of their letters, diaries, and other artifacts of the past, are important to the overall casting of a story. In fact, how you cast your documentary is so important that some executives want to see footage of ...

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