Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just got a nice review in Film Festival Today

Producing with Passion Making Films That Change the World

By Dorothy Fadiman and Tony Levelle
Michael Wiese Productions
Studio City, California

“A film that reflects your true passion can have an impact for generations. This book gives you the tools to envision, produce, and finish such a film. As a documentary filmmaker, you have the means to open people’s eyes and bring them into another world.” So begins one of the most inspiring and informative books ever written about making films that have an impact on the world. Dorothy Fadiman, an Emmy Award Winner and an Academy Award nominee for “Best Documentary” along with Tony Levelle have divided their book into three parts: (a) Getting clear about your vision (b) Sustaining your intention as you produce the film and (c) Launching your finished movie.

The authors provide helpful advice on trusting your instincts to select a subject whose core idea will carry you through the challenges it takes to make a film. Advice on finding the key theme that helps define your project will allow you to create a more vibrant film. They discuss three of the main challenges to making a documentary film which are getting it right, getting it done and getting it out. Another helpful chapter explains preproduction and how to produce the unscripted documentary.

Fadiman and Levelle explain what it takes to create a well written proposal and they relate most poignantly that in raising money, people give money to people, not projects! Helpful advice on putting together a production team and the nuts and bolts of production are handled with the experience that 30 years of making documentaries will provide.

Interviewing, building the story, editing and feedback screenings are illustrated with helpful suggestions and practical advice. Finally, a chapter on finishing the film and how to move on to the next project are discussed. Several of the ending chapters deal with publicity and distribution. Helpful suggestions for dealing with PBS or the virtual world are included. Throughout this essential read for the serious documentarist the authors neatly tie up each chapter with key points and provide you with both the inspiration and knowledge to make your “heartfelt”, serious film a reality.

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