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What does a filmmaker? – Documentary Educational Resources

Or a writer? Or a musician? Or a journalist? What does anyone do, if not be a filmmaker?

You’re a filmmaker, and that means making art and, yes, writing. You can’t make art for art’s sake. It’s a very, very complicated relationship to have.

But there’s so much of it, all over the place, at the same time. In the ’90s, there weren’t a number of film schools that were really going into this area of documentary. Now there is a bunch. So, I think the best way is to start where you’re right now and see what works and what doesn’t work. And, if you’re like me, you’re going to end up wanting, every time you’re editing a documentary, to reread it and re-watch. Because all those memories start to come back very easily to you. And then there’s a whole new world of people.

In some ways, we’re in a pretty similar situation as we were in the late ’70s and early ’80s, right? We have digital, and we can get away with the editing it takes to have something on a screen for the entire day. That’s all the camera and computer in the world are for, is editing. People have realized that now. So, I feel like all of those elements are being applied more and more. That is sort of a good omen. It’s a sign that maybe the whole documentary system is moving along.

Some people are saying it was like this 20 years ago. This is what they were doing. That’s true. But the thing that’s unique, and I want to get into this, is that there’s been lots of technological change in what’s been called the Internet generation, but there have also been changes in the way that people communicate with each other when they’re not doing everything in their normal way. And this all is sort of a new part of the documentary world of documentary, of the media itself.
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So it’s a good sign because you’ve got all these new media, and you’ve got so much different ways that people will talk and communicate with each other. And some of that is still going on. Some of it is being supplanted in ways that are different forms of communication with each other. Some of that is a whole new kind of way of trying to share information, and how it should be communicated, that I haven’t really seen in my entire life.

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