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Producing with Passion: Making Films That Change the World Paperback – June 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932907440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932907445
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Engaging and full of juicy, useful information geared specifically to the needs of documentary filmmakers.
For anyone interested in making documentary films, especially about social issues, I recommend a new book "PRODUCING WITH PASSION: Making Films that Change the World."
Jessica Weiss
Dorothy Fadiman's "Producing With Passion" is one of the most unique guides to producing a film I've ever read.
Red Skirt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kari Ann Morgan on May 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Producing with Passion, Fadiman & Levelle guide the reader through the sometimes unpredictable, ultimately rewarding world of documentary filmmaking. From doing research & conducting interviews to finding the "real" story you're trying to tell, it's all here.

In and of themselves, the chapters are well laid-out, with an overview at the beginning of each one, and summarizing key points at the end. At the beginning of the book, Chapters 1-4 follow a logical progression; but topics in chs 4-8 seem to repeat themselves and/or show up in an odd order. For my suggestion, the chapters would flow better from one topic to another if they were placed in the following order: Ch. 2 (focusing your topic), Ch. 3 (research), Ch. 5 (how to plan an unscripted documentary), Ch. 6 (putting together a proposal), Ch. 7 (ways to get funding), Ch. 4 (assembling a support team), and Ch. 8 (your "core group").

The amount of information in this book is insightful & incredibly helpful. The authors go into great detail when explaining the purpose of proposals, treatments, and core/interest groups. They also give excellent ideas, references, & suggestions for how to do effective research, draft a proposal, attract funding, & much more. Because this is a book on how to make a documentary (and not a feature film), there is not a lot of technical information beyond the basics: lighting, audio, camera shots, editing, etc. The info on these topics is sufficient for what you'll need when making a documentary.

One of the most valuable things in this book, however, is the voice of experience that has come with making dozens of documentaries over the years.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell W. Block on May 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Producing Impossible to Produce Films

After teaching independent producing at USC School of Cinamatic Arts, (in the Peter Stark Producing Program) since 1978, "Producing with Passion" is the book I've been looking for to use in my class.

Sundance screened over 1,000 docs to find the handful of films it programmed this year. Far too many filmmakers are shooting first and thinking about how their film will be marketed, distributed and used later. Ms. Fadiman's book is written by an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker who has made some of the key films supporting women's rights of the last 30 years. Her current film "Stealing America" (note: I am an executive producer of this work.) chronicles the undermining of the electoral process to shape the outcome of our elections. This work is a work of passion that will be seen, used and provoke audiences to protect the integrity of the voting process. Ms. Fadiman, by following her own advice, has made a film that transforms the way people will think about our electoral process.

"Producing With Passion" is the only work that provides an easy to understand step by step guide from idea to funding, production, movie theaters, community groups and DVD distribution for these important works.

Mitchell Block conceived, co-created and was an executive producer of the PBS landmark series CARRIER. Programs he has executive produced have won Academy and numerous other awards. He has handled the marketing and distribution of over 60 Oscar winning and nominated documentary, shorts and animated films.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Curt Rosengren on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Want to turn your passion into a documentary film? Producing with Passion gives you an excellent road map. It offers a well-organized, easily accessible, nuts-and-bolts approach to creating, building support for, and promoting your documentary.

In a nutshell, the book is packed with insights and ideas about how to actually get it done. There is a chapter in the beginning about figuring out what kind of topics you're most passionate about, but the real value in this book is the practical, logistical, rubber-meeting-the-road advice.

My work is focused on helping people tap into passion and meaning to amp up the energy, clarity and focus in their career. Producing with Passion is a no-brainer for me to recommend to any clients who might see documentary-making as one of the tools in their change-making toolkits.

One of the big obstacles to pursuing one's passion is not understanding how to go about it. "I want to do this, but where do I start? How do I do it? What do I need to understand to make it successful? What are the pitfalls?" This book answers all those questions, and many more.

Curt Rosengren
Founder, Passion Catalyst
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank Logue on December 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frank Logue rated a book 4 of 5 stars
29 minutes ago

Producing with Passion: Making Films That Change the World
by Dorothy Fadiman
Read in November 2013
Written from the hard-earned of an Emmy-winning and Academy Award Nominated documetary filmmaker, this book is about finding a story that rings true for you and telling it with passion. Shaping films from the creator's own experience, knowledge, concerns and yearnings are how she advises the authenticity that must ring through the work to the final cut. She sees good relationships as the heart of film making and advises on how to find companions for the journey and how different people's gifts are essential to the research, filming, editing, testing and marketing of any project.

The text is full of straightforward advice such as ""people will be able to tell you their strongest story for the first time, only once. Ask interviewees to wait until you are filming to hear the whole story." But perhaps most important is her central thesis about finding a story you are passionate about and then sticking with that core that holds your interest and let it unfold with its own inner logic.

She shares how to develop character, build and resolve conflict and otherwise give narrative shape to documentary work. All the while, she advises, "Let the story tell itself. No forcing, just unfloding. You want to be able to convey the truth at the heart of your story without needing to explain it, without telling the viewer what to think or feel."

With the help of writer/filmmaker, Tony Levelle, Fadiman brings home the point that only audiences decide if a film has impact and so she guides the reader through a process of feedback sessions and screenings to make sure that the heart of the film is getting through. All in all, a valuable guide to the why as much as the how of making and sharing a documentary.
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