A conversation with Elaine McMillion Sheldon about Hollow

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Hollow (requires Google Chrome) is an interactive documentary and community participatory project that examines the future of rural America through stories of over 30 residents of McDowell County, West Virginia, an area that is representative of many regional boom-and-bust economies across the … [Read more...]

Is Final Cut Pro X finally ready to be viable replacement for Final Cut Pro Classic?

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This post is a follow-up to the "Final Cut Pro X for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors" workshop I did at Boston Neighborhood Network on Saturday, December 13, 2014. If you're still editing with Final Cut Pro Classic (my way of referring to Final Cut Pro 7.x or earlier) and sitting things out, you will … [Read more...]

Is the Audio-Technica BP4029 the perfect cinéma-vérité microphone?

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In an ideal world I'd have a ninja-class boom operator with me on all of my documentary shoots, but short of that I usually place a wireless lavaliere on my subjects in order to capture the best dialogue possible while providing then with mobility along with the intimacy of a small crew. However, on … [Read more...]

Four approaches to structuring micro-documentaries

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A micro-documentary differs from a long-form documentary in terms of length, structure, and quite often, purpose. While most long-form documentaries tell a story with a classic three act narrative structure, shorter documentaries require different  strategies for structuring the viewer’s experience. … [Read more...]

Some quotes on documentary, cinema, and art that don’t fit in a tweet

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Several years ago when I was working on my MFA at MassArt I began collecting quotes related to my thesis work, and here are some of my favorites, in no particular order. Do you have any favorite quotes on documentary, cinema, or art that do not fit in a tweet? Please share them with me via comments … [Read more...]

10 reasons why making documentaries is better than making fiction films

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Peter Broderick, who helps filmmakers “explore uncharted frontiers and avoid dangerous pitfalls and predators,” gave a wonderful talk this morning at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the many gems in his presentation was his list of ten reasons why making documentaries is better than making fiction … [Read more...]

New Forms / New Opportunities Panel (Sarah Wolozin & Natasha Giraudie)

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The following conversation took place during the session, ”Open Plenary: New Forms New Opportunities,“ with panelists Sarah Wolozin (Director, Open Documentary Lab at MIT) and Natasha Deganello Giraudie (CEO, Micro-Documentaries in San Francisco), and yours truly (organizer and moderator), during … [Read more...]

Reflections on Paul Sharits frozen film frames

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On the bus ride back to Boston this past Monday I kept thinking about the Images of an Infinite Film exhibition I saw at MoMA (on view through March 2, 2014). I loved how Paul Sharits’s Untitled, from his Frozen Film Frame series (c. 1971–76) brings into sharp relief the physicality of film. Each … [Read more...]