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After months of playing air guitar to 'Free Bird', what really got me into guitar was watching a documentary about Jimi Hendrix and picking up the Woodstock soundtrack. Listening to his version of 'Star Spangled Banner' and 'Purple Haze.' My brother played acoustic guitar and, idolising him, I thought, 'I'm going to get a guitar.'
'The Look of Silence' was an unforgettable, chilling documentary.
We get so many requests like, 'We want behind-the-scenes access,' or 'We're going to show people what it's really like to be on the campaign with Donald Trump.' But there is just no way that a camera or an episode or a documentary could capture what has gone on.
In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
In the U.S., the '50s and '60s marked the documentary's golden age, especially at CBS, where pioneering television journalist Edward R. Murrow, immortalised in George Clooney's 'Good Night, and Good Luck,' produced such landmark investigations as the CBS Reports programme 'Hunger in America.'
What's great about documentary, it seems to me, is that it can be experimental filmmaking. You have a license to do a lot of diverse things under the umbrella of 'documentary.'
Photography has always been about documentary, the depiction of the instant, a moment, sometimes a place. Each project is somehow an experimentation of a specific context or a character.
I was watching a Storyville documentary called 'Blackfish' about killer whales in captivity. I was emotionally drained by the end. It revealed a real behind-the-scenes truth on what we do with animals.
We'll be back to our nature documentary, 'Baggy the Anorexic Elephant' in just a second.
Sure, 'An Inconvenient Truth' was my first documentary. What a wonderful experience. I saw Al Gore doing his slideshow presentation, and had this nutty idea that we had to make a movie out of it.
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A documentary photograph is not a factual photograph.
But one of the amazing things about documentary is that you can remake it every time you make one. There is no rule about how a documentary film has to be made.
There's a great documentary on Tupac called 'Resurrection' about the last few years of Tupac's life and how he transformed. And, ironically, how this East Coast rapper became this West Coast icon, back when all that Death Row/Sean Combs stuff was going on.
As the documentary 'True Son' illustrates, my campaign for city council started really small - with eight mostly political neophytes in my living room and with young people knocking on doors.
For me, documentary photography has always come with great responsibility. Not just to tell the story honestly and with empathy, but also to make sure the right people hear it. When you photograph somebody who is in pain or discomfort, they trust you to make sure the images will act as their advocate.
We're telling a story. And the demands of that are different from the demands of a documentary. The audience must believe in order to keep faith in the story.
A documentary film is a great way of helping people understand because, somehow, when one is able to see the people involved, it lends a certain immediacy and understanding that is hard to get on the page.
Most people see a documentary about the meat industry and then they become a vegetarian for a week.
Doing a documentary is about discovering, being open, learning, and following curiosity.
You know, the process of making a documentary is one of discovery, and like writing a story, you follow a lead and that leads you to something else and then by the time you finish, the story is nothing like you expected.
It had an enormous impact to the point of the United Nations passing a resolution against the killing and hunting of these whales as they are an endangered species. This was a documentary on the plight of the whales.
I like the idea of the documentary as a portrait. There's not a chronological beginning, middle, and end structure. You build something in the editing room that's shaped by getting to know the person and digging deeper, unpeeling the layers of them as you get to know them.
But I can say what interests me about documentary is the fact that you don't know how the story ends at the onset - that you are investigating, with a camera, and the story emerges as you go along.
I think what I love about the documentary process is that you bring yourself to the documentary. And hopefully that makes you ask good questions, and hopefully that makes you reveal a little bit about yourself as well.
In 1995 I decided to stop eating meat. I could never really quite explain why; I think it was something to do with watching a documentary where they cooked a cat and partly because I had a really crap job working for Wolves Poly and felt my life was slipping away. It definitely wasn't anything to do with any 'vegetarian month'.
When a documentary filmmaker, working in the style that I do, suggests that there has been a shooting ratio of 40 hours to every one hour of finished film, that doesn't mean that the other 39 are bad.
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