posts about or somewhat related to ‘documentary’
Documentary filmmaker Raney Aronson as quoted in a fascinating case study in journalism ethics (by the Knight Case Studies Initiative at Columbia) called Frontline’s “The Last Abortion Clinic”: What’s Fair in a Video World?
This case takes students behind the scenes into the making of a news documentary for Frontline, produced at the PBS affiliate in Boston (WGBH). The case tells the story of the making of “The Last Abortion Clinic,” a 2005 documentary by producer Raney Aronson and her team. The documentary combined a legal story (developments in the abortion debate since Roe v. Wade) with personal stories—interviews with women in clinics who had confronted the abortion question in their own lives. It focused on the state of Mississippi, which had only one abortion clinic remaining. The case chronicles the evolution of a documentary from idea to finished form. Along the way, it highlights numerous editorial, logistical and ethical decisions Aronson faced in her quest to tell fairly a complex and value-laden story.
— Christine Choy, film professor at New York University in an interview with the FJP on the changing climate of documentary distribution in the video-on-demand world.
Christine Choy, a film professor at New York University speaking to the FJP about the ever-changing and increasingly complex world of distribution for documentary filmmakers. She went on to explain how important envisioning your market is:
Well, international film markets, each country is different. Japan for instance does pay a lot. I would say probably 450$ a minute. Okay? But it has to have something in relation with Japan. So if you do an international market you have to have a financial and business plan before hand. I was just filming Ghana. Ghana doesn’t have any money. China has money. So, the content of the film you can’t do anti-China, so the content of the market is closely related. I did a film about the Nanking Massacre but the title is In the Name of the Emperor. So you have “emperor” and educators want to buy it but they don’t like the title. Are you willing to change the title? I said yes. But they ultimately are too scared. Too scared to show the film, so they didn’t purchase.
And language is important. America is the only country where people do not like to watch documentaries with subtitles. Europe, yeah. Southern European countries, it’s mandatory to have subtitles. Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Netherlands but not Italy, not Poland, not Yugoslavia for instance. They product simultaneously could have multi-languages. They signed a deal, the southern European countries. If I produce a film in France, you have an English version. That’s why they always have an M&E track. [“Music and Effects” track, contains all sound except dialogue.]