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Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos, Revised Edition Paperback – May 29, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0809320141 ISBN-10: 0809320142 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; Revised edition (May 29, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809320142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809320141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,095,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I can hardly praise this book enough. Should every documentary student read it? Certainly. Should every documentary filmmaker, no matter how experienced they are, read it? Certainly."—Austin Lamont, commenting on the first edition in Film Quarterly



“This book should be called the ‘Documentary Filmmaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ The moral, ethical, aesthetic, and communicative problems of documentary filmmaking are explored through knowledge and experi­ence in the field, studio, editing room, theater, and television. Every new or established documentary filmmaker should read it.”—Donald E. Staples, Univer­sity of North Texas

About the Author

Alan Rosenthal was born in England, studied law at Oxford, and has made over sixty films for television. His books include New Challenges for Documentary, Why Docudrama? Fact-Fiction on Film and TV, and Jerusalem: Take One! Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker. He received a Peabody Award for Journalism and the International Documentary Association’s award for scholarship. Currently he divides his time among projects in Jerusalem, London, and New York. His most recent film is Adolf Eichmann: The Secret Memoirs.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I find myself opening this book up over and over again .
dookie101
I read a lot of books once I am interested in a subject and I would place this one at the top for documentaries.
Rob McDonald
Every student, professional filmmaker, enthusiast should have it.
Wendy-Marita Bruno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rosenthal has written a fairly comprehensive guide for aspiring and new documentarians. He covers everything from initial idea through proposal to marketing and distribution, including delicate topics like how to explore your initial idea and figure out if it's any good, and where to look for funding. He mentions a lot of details that are easily missed by amateurs, all of which could be disastrous to production. My only reason for holding back a star is that I would have liked a bit more depth to the examples (e.g., a full sample budget instead of an outline of what to include).
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Before you pay a lot of money for a documentary filmmaking class, I strongly recommend this book. It seems to cover all the bases of the process (don't expect much info on equipment though) and includes insightful anecdotes from real situations. Rosenthal guides you through the entire evolution of a documentary from the conception of the idea, writing proposals, dealing with sponsors, locations and crews to distribution to the ethical responsibilities of a director. One distinguishing factor of this particular book in comparison to other books on filmmaking is its spectrum-from independents to corporate to public service films.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Wendy-Marita Bruno on June 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a masterful resource for any filmmaker regardless of their expertise.
No one has come close in their summation of the documentary process. It is 2001, the book was released in 1996, it is timeless. The best book on the market, a better book could only be devised by the author.
Four years of preperation in one book. Every student, professional filmmaker, enthusiast should have it. I have even allowed persons/subjects whom I was documenting to read this book. It made the process that much easier. They were extremely thankful. PURCHASE THE BOOK.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Rob McDonald on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Even while reading this book I was able to pitch an idea for an event and documentary project, my first, and gain acceptance for the project. The concepts are helpful as well as practical.
I read a lot of books once I am interested in a subject and I would place this one at the top for documentaries.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By dookie101 on March 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I find myself opening this book up over and over again . I have learned alot from the writer of this book . I would tell anyone who is going to make a documentary , they should have this book on there desk.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Mullen on April 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In starting something new, the potential making missteps that can derail the whole process is always present. This book helps you avoid those and has advice on how you can develop a quality product that people will want to see. Very worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Espinoza on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Es un libro excelente. Ideal para quienes nos iniciamos en el apasionante oficio de contar historias con imagenes. Lo recomiendo ampliamente.
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