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5 Lessons from “The End of Suburbia”

It’s often worth watching documentaries that suck in order to learn what not to do as a filmmaker. While watching the 2004 documentary “The End of Suburbia” (available on Netflix but don’t bother) several lessons occurred to me. Here’s my new list of what not to do in my own docs: 1. Don’t make a […]

February 22, 2009 1
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Feb-May 2009 Film Screenings

A wise man once said, “Let us all cool our jets. Let us all take the time out of our busy schedules to watch great documentary films. That is when we find our peace.” For 2009, Viva Doc has put forth extra effort to curate a film schedule built both of the essentials and the […]

February 19, 2009 2
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Bullfight in Okinawa

Chris Marker’s Bullfight in Okinawa is a bizarre, 4 min documentary that introduces viewers to Japan’s subterranean past time of bullfighting. Part of Markers five-film “Bestiary” series, Bullfight employs observational documentary techniques and, in particular, Marker’s camerawork is impressive — tight framed shots, free-hand pans, and quick zooms all contribute to the film’s urgent sense […]

February 19, 2009 2
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Bigger, Stronger, Faster

In honor of the the end of the NFL season and the beginning of February, I want to share some video that I captured at True/False last year. Some of you may have heard me raving about a film called Bigger, Stronger, Faster, about America’s obsession with steroids. Well, I was going through some footage […]

February 7, 2009 0
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The Scoop on Viva Doc Small Groups

VivaDocsters, doc lovers, filmmakers, Columbia students, staff, faculty and alumni: VivaDoc is thrilled to announce the formation of Small Groups for people interested in making, screening, and talking about docs within the context of small groups. Whether you’re looking for support in completing your own project, want to collaborate on making a group doc, or […]

January 25, 2009 0
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January 17th, 2009, at 8:00 pm, Chicago Filmmakers Proudly Presents: SENATOR OBAMA GOES TO AFRICA THE MAN WHO WOULD BE PRESIDENT RETURNS TO HIS AFRICAN ROOTS Director Bob Hercules, Director of Photography Keith Walker, and Editor Melissa Sterne in Person! Located at 5243 N. Clark St. in Andersonville. Single admission prices are as follows: $8 […]

January 15, 2009 0
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Shifting Focus: Doc Distribution in a Digital Age

An exclusive Viva Doc interview with filmmaker Tami Yeager, now working with The Tribeca Film Institute’s Reframe distribution initiative.

January 8, 2009 1
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What Netflixes are collecting dust on your DVD player?

We’ve all been there. With no late fees, it’s wayyyyyyyy too easy to keep a Netflixed documentary for far too long without watching it.

December 6, 2008 3
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Doc-makers should take a cue from "28 Days Later"

Personally, I’m a big fan of using “relative time,” in other words, using titles or narration or lower thirds or what-have-you to convey that time has passed in a relative sense rather than an absolute one (i.e. “6 months later…” instead of “June 24th, 2008…”).

December 6, 2008 0
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Film Review: Free Voice of Labor

In the late 1970s and early 1980s two documentary filmmakers Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher exploring the history of Jewish Anarchism in the United States made the film Free Voice of Labor – The Jewish Anarchists.

November 29, 2008 0
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