This book explores the industrial and personal challenges faced by filmmakers in bringing the current worldwide craze for documentary films and series to screens small and large. Utilizing a number of case studies drawn from in-depth interviews with acclaimed documentary directors, producers, and screenwriters from around the world, Phoebe Hart offers a thematic analysis to reveal the risks and opportunities for practitioners. Hart examines these themes in the context of current scholarship to provide insight into the modes and methods of making factual screen content as she engages with the documentary form and the marking of it, acquisition of mastery and inspiration, and specific rituals and habits of practice. From the unique vantage point of being a “pracademic” – that is, being both a successful documentary filmmaker and a recognized screen researcher and teacher - Hart ultimately argues for greater support of filmmakers and pursuit of a deeper understanding of creative processes.
Phoebe Hart is associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology and a documentary filmmaker based in Brisbane, Australia.
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Crafting Careers
Chapter 2: Ideas that Land
Chapter 3: A Fine Romance
Chapter 4: Right Tool for the Job
Chapter 5: (Re)writing Documentaries
Chapter 6: Recording Impacts
Conclusion: A Good Time to be Making?
About the Author
Phoebe Hart's lovely book should live on the bookshelves of scholars, artists, and students around the world who adore the documentary form and want to understand the nuanced innerworkings of the craft. This is a contemporary, accessible volume that champions the voices and motivations of creative nonfiction makers as they chart a future path in the global media marketplace.
Phoebe Hart is very well placed to write this book, drawing on her own experiences in industry as well as academia to contextualize what it means to imagine, develop, produce, and distribute a documentary in the contemporary landscape. The focus on meaningful ideas, impactful stories, and innovations in process and form provides an excellent addition to the field. And through interviews with a wide range of practitioners from across the globe, the book really does get to the heart of why documentaries matter.
This volume offers unexpected insights to the documentary filmmaking process through accounts of an array of different makers. It is a fascinating read which makes an important contribution to documentary film studies as well as the emerging discipline of creative practice research. Highly recommended.