Thursday, December 12, 2019

May 2020: Second edition of Archival Storytelling!

Fully revised and updated, Archival Storytelling is a timely, pragmatic look at the ever-expanding trove of audiovisual materials available to filmmakers and scholars, from the earliest photographs of the 19th century to the work of media makers today. Whether you’re a top Hollywood filmmaker or a first-time documentarian, at some point you are going to want to find, use, and license third-party materials—images, audio, or music that you yourself did not create—to use them in your work. What’s involved in researching and licensing visuals and music? What do documentary makers need to know when filming in a world filled with rights-protected images and sounds? How can filmmakers, scholars and others seeking evidence of the past understand and contextualize the ways in which this audiovisual record was created?
Filled with insight from filmmakers, archivists, researchers, intellectual property experts and others, Archival Storytelling defines key terms such as copyright, fair use, public domain, orphan works and more. It guides readers through the complex archival process and challenges them to become not only archival users but also archival and copyright activists, ensuring their ongoing ability to draw upon the cultural materials that surround us. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

An Inconvenient Sequel premieres at Sundance!

Congrats to Kenn Rabin, who was the archivist for An Inconvenient Sequel, which premiered at Sundance this week!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Article now available in Romanian!

Many thanks to journalist and film critic Anca Yvette Gradinariu for her translation of "Keep a Close Watch: Analyzing a Documentary's Strengths and Weaknesses" (Documentary magazine, May 17, 2016) into Romanian!  You can read the article here, "Cum Să Analizăm Documentarele," the website of Docuart, an association dedicated to the Romanian documentary.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New article: "Analyzing a Documentary's Strengths and Weaknesses"

Now online: "Keep a Close Watch: Analyzing a Documentary's Strengths and Weaknesses," in Documentary magazine (publication of the International Documentary Association), Spring 2016 issue. 

Adapted from Documentary Storytelling, 4th edition (Jan 2016), the piece offers a discussion of the critical opening minutes of your documentary, and strategies for close analysis of others' work.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Listening as a Writer: An Informal Guide to Podcasts

I like to listen to substantive conversations (at least 20 minutes, preferably an hour or more) with writers, producers, directors and others in the worlds of film and theater as I walk or bike (or drive), and have discovered that there's a seemingly endless stream of these conversations available online.

Here are a handful of them, in no particular order. If you have a favorite podcast that's not here, feel free to add it in the comments section.  

The Producers Perspective with Ken Davenport
An incredible array of guests. Some recent favorite conversations: Jeanine Tesori, Diane Paulus, David Henry Hwang, Ralph Sevush, Theresa Rebeck.

BAFTA – The Guru Podcasts
This is a goldmine of material, including a screenwriters’ lecture series, in focus masterclasses, and conversations.

Indie Film Academy Podcast/Learning Filmmaking from Filmmakers. 
Recently, I’ve especially enjoyed Alan Watt, author of “The 90-Day Screenplay.”

Some of these have been formatted specifically for audio, but the video ones can also be downloaded just for listening.  Some terrific ones include Shonda Rhimes “My year of saying yes to everything,” Jehane Noujaim (“My wish: A global day of film”); Deborah Scranton (“An Iraq war movie crowd-sourced from soldiers”). There are also playlists of curated talks, such as 12 talks gathered as “The power of film,” which includes two of the above talks.

National Theatre, London: Podcasts

The Dramatists Guild’s “In the Room” Series
Conversations with and between artists including Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Emily Mann, John Guare, Tina Howe, Kirsten Greenidge, Wendy Wasserstein and more, drawn from the Dramatist Guild archives.

Others worth noting:
HowlRound: A knowledge commons by and for the theatre community
A couple of series: Matthew Gray’s “Living the Dream” and David Dower’s “Friday Phone Call”

Fresh Air – host Terry Gross often brings on writers, actors, directors, etc.