Documentary Filmmaking: A Contemporary Field Guide is a skills-oriented, step-by-step portable guide to creating documentary films, from the initial idea phase to postproduction processes and distribution. An indispensable resource on site or in the studio, this compact handbook offers something for all types of students: documentary recommendations (for the film buff); illustrations and examples from working documentary makers, producers, editors, and distributors (for the more grounded, visual learner); the latest trends in Internet video and other forms of new media (for the more "techie" documentarian); and even practical financial tips, fundraising ideas, and legal considerations (for the more idealistic—and not always realistic—visionary).
Organized by the chronological structure of documentary film creation, the book opens with ideas, motives, access, and preproduction questions. It then moves on to research, crew considerations, legal issues, production planning, film shoots, and interviewing issues, before wrapping up with postproduction organization, publicity, distribution, and festivals.
Offering a strong focus on practical advice and ethics, Documentary Filmmaking is an ideal text for undergraduate- and graduate-level documentary film courses.