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Absorb All-Star Knowledge from the Pros

Starting tomorrow, for two weekends only, the wizards, masters, and warriors of documentary will come out and play. At the 2009 Producers’ Series Eye-Witness – Focus On Documentaries April 4-5 & 18-19 Film Row Cinema Columbia College Chicago 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor Two full weekend sessions that cover the nuts and bolts of developing, […]

April 3, 2009 0
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7 Questions with Jonathan Olsheski

Johnathan Olsheski, an up-and-coming Philadelphian filmmaker, hit the streets during the midnight hours to follow and film the nightly routine of a “scrapper” ― you may know them as those drifting individuals who push shopping carts filled with metal scraps ― these vagabonds forage around searching for discarded waste, collecting junk with little to no value, in hopes to sell it and turn a profit. The result of Jonathan’s followings is The Scrapper, a 32 minute doc

March 12, 2009 1
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8 Interview Tactics to Borrow From Oral History

I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned from Oral History (49-3672). Here are 8 ideas to keep in mind for your next documentary interview.

March 5, 2009 0
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Notes from Fredrick Wiseman’s lecture at DePaul

Photo: Diana Gabriel. Frederick Wiseman has made over 30 full-length documentaries, but says he doesn’t think about his art. He came from a law background and examines institutions across the nation, but says he never does research. The ironies you find in Frederick Wiseman’s films come across when you listen to him speak. Sometimes I […]

March 5, 2009 1
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In Order Not to Be Here (2002)

In Order Not to Be Here is the inspired, award-winning vision from Chicago-based experimental filmmaker and artist Deborah Stratman. Rife with creepiness, In Order feels like a bad-dream—or a leaked surveillance video from a lurking shadow government—it’s a dreamy, objectively-haunting, quasi-surveillance video. It’s also a film that poses many questions, one being the inevitable query […]

March 2, 2009 0
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Ask a Filmmaker: An Unfinished Dream

My thesis project, Untitled DREAM Act Film, is transitioning from casual pre-production to real pre-production. What does that mean? It means that it’s time to stop playing around and start working on this film. One way that I thought of to do this was to talk to someone who has done or is doing what […]

March 1, 2009 1
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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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