Two-Camera Shoots

nashville-1This DIY documentary that I made in 2012 shows how much you can do by yourself with two cameras.  I filmed a two-camera interview at the home of a singer songwriter in Nashville and I also used two cameras at a live performance I filmed of her at a club in Philadelphia.

It was a big job setting up by myself so I asked if I could come in the day before to set up and Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Your Documentary Noticed…

signimagesLook, it’s tough out there in the world of getting your movie noticed.  Please don’t think that if you do make a pretty good DIY documentary that people will come running to see it and that distributors will be knocking on your door to sign a deal.  The problem with a movie is that it’s not tangible.  You can’t look at a DVD and Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Editing – Connecting Scenes

images“Yes, but” is what my mentor, Bill Jersey, told me should be asked when making editing decisions. I had no idea what he was talking about.  So the next time I saw him I asked him what exactly “Yes, but” means.  It still didn’t make sense to me…I just wasn’t getting his point.  On the third attempt to understand his editing philosophy I asked him to write Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Music Licensing for your Documentary

imagesIt would be fair for me to say that clearing the music for my latest documentary was one of the most daunting experiences I’ve had in filmmaking, since harassing my family and friends for donations on my Indiegogo page.  However, the truth is that the difficult part was not the process, it was learning the process.  As I look back I Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story Arc is all that Matters.

320px-heroesjourney-svgEvery filmmaker needs to ask one simple question when making a film…what will make a person want to watch it?  The answer is the story arc.  The story arc will make or break your documentary.  Never forget as you shoot and edit your movie that there is nothing that matters more then how you tell the story and how you will keep the viewer interested. Keeping a person curious while being entertained is your job as a filmmaker.  It’s really all that matters when telling any story and Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Crowdfunding

unknown-4I would be lying if I said that the experience of creating and pursuing an Indiegogo fund raising campaign was enjoyable.  There were of course some great moments of joy when donations were coming in, but the day to day stuff was brutal.  My first suggestion to anyone that is considering an Indiegogo campaign is to be realistic about how much money you think you can raise for your film.  I did my Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise funds for my finishing costs. Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill Jersey Remembers Albert Maysles

unknown-3When Bill Jersey asked me to help him make a short video to be played at the Albert Maysles Memorial Film Festival at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco, I was more than happy to offer my services. Bill is a pioneer of cinema verite and not only was he there when Albert and David Maysles started their career as filmmakers but he also gave Albert his first industrial cinematographer job. Bill also worked for Al on his first feature film “Showman.” It was a lot of fun for me to hear Bill talk about Albert Maysles.  Two pioneers of cinema verite who Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Albert Maysles 1926 – 2015

mayslesCIf it wasn’t for Albert Maysles I would never have become a documentary filmmaker.  I always wanted to make documentaries but I hated the thought of researching, producing, film crews and all the lights, sound and action of formal filmmaking.  But when I watched Grey Gardens and witnessed the cinema verite filming style Al and his brother David used, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

This is DIY Filmmaking…

543039_268451073250929_263799937049376_548773_560689892_n-copy-2-1I just came across a few photos of me filming and thought that these pictures could give somebody a good idea of how simple filmmaking really is.  As you can see, there is no film crew on location with me.  A video camera, a decent microphone and a computer along with a good story is all you need to pack a movie theater if you are willing to learn.  The top photo was my first day filming on my first feature DIY documentary.  I learned something very important that day.  You can see in the photo on top that I have the Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Start Small – Make a Three Minute “A Day in the Life” Film

imagesThe best way to make your first doc is to keep it short.  Everything you need to do and understand about doc filmmaking applies the same whether it’s a three minute documentary or a three hour feature documentary. You must have an entertaining story that comes out through an interesting subject while emotionally drawing in the viewer.

You may want to try Continue reading

Posted in DOCUMENTARY | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment