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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Documentary Filmmakers Speak
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on March 19, 2013
For anyone pursuing or just plain obsessed with documentary films this is a must read. It's access to some of the most renowned filmmakers of our time. They don't always agree, but their words never cease to entertain and teach.
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on October 10, 2008
I purchased this book for my daughter in college and it arrived right on time for her class. She had no complaints. She said the book was in good condtion. If is she happy then I am happy.
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on October 15, 2006
Stubbs' book of interviews with contemporary American documentary filmmakers may be useful (even inspirational) for those new to the field, but the author doesn't know her turf. The volume is filled with minor factual errors: film titles are misspelled, interviewees' self-serving statements go unchallenged, and proofreading errors abound. Clearly, Stubbs was learning as she went along, and editorial oversight was minimal.

For better or worse, the book reveals the enthusiasms of a novice. The interviews are superficial, and somewhat adulatory: the writer seldom takes a critical or analytical view of the filmmakers' assumptions and methodologies.

The book may appeal to beginner film students looking for easy-to-read interviews with Ross McElwee and Berlinger & Sinofsky; there are much more informative interviews with Al Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker, Barbara Kopple, and Ken Burns elsewhere. Caveat lector.
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on February 19, 2005
I just finished reading this book and I really loved it. I'm an aspiring documentary filmmaker and this book gave me such a clear idea of what is really involved in the making of documentaries that matter, and the many approaches one can take to get there. It can be daunting to hear one artist declare that there is only one way to make a documentary, and think, "but I don't know that I can or want to work that way - perhaps I'm not cut out for this". But this book offers such a wide variety of voices that if one approach doesn't resonate, then another surely will. The only hard and true constant that every filmmaker shares is the absolute necessity for passion, empathy and stamina. The level of joy and passion that informs every voice in this book is truly inspirational. Now that I've finished reading my library copy, I'll be buying my own copy, as well as a copy for my documentary partner. It's my new bible.
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on March 7, 2008
I purchased this book along with "Directing the Documentary" by Michael Rabiger, and it's a great addition to Rabiger's work.

Liz Stubbs' interviews with well known film makers provides important insights into their style of working, the physical and personal demands of the work, and the challenges of funding. For a beginner, this kind of knowledge is invaluable, especially the various attitudes towards shooting and editing; it's great to know that even successful film makers struggle with these issues.
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on November 9, 2002
Liz Stubbs Documentary Filmmakers Speak, is a fascinating account of the manner in which some of the greatest filmmakers of our country go about the process of creating masterpieces. Because Liz Stubbs is a truly brillant interviewer she has been successful in drawing out the humanity and the passion of these thirteen extraordinary filmmakers. It is a must read for anyone who has watched a Ken Burns, Bruce Sinofsky or a D.A. Pennebaker/Chris Hegedus production. It was a can't put down for me and a muxt for my Holiday giving list.
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