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The Current State of the Documentary Business

Creating documentaries is tough--not because of the funding, the talent, the crew, the possibility of distribution or no distribution, but because of the infinite number of questions that an investigative documentary can raise.

Look at Bill Maher's "Religilous." To cover the entire scope of what religious people believe, it would take an entire lifetime and millions of hours of footage. Call me crazy, but it would be hard for audience to sit through that (without a few intermissions).

When examining a phenomena such as energy healing or life after death, or any of the other questions that have existed practically since humankind came into being, the temptation to go 'big' is there and the leads you may get from one interview can lead in about a billion different directions. Everyone who has had an NDE has a story to tell, and a slightly different one. Everyone also has a slightly different belief because of it. Similarly, everyone who has ever performed energy healing or had the treatment done to them has had a different type of experience. The key to creating a compelling documentary here is to find the common threads between all of these stories and also learning to say no to the thousands of potential interviewees that could offer extremely valuable input, but that we simply wouldn't have time (or money) for.

I think that the aim of any good documentary should be to implant these ideas in any potentially interested person's head. If we show an entire festival of 1,000 viewers a documentary on energy healing, and from that, 1 person decided to go and investigate it further, that, I think is a victory. In our current media state, over saturation of the vast amount of entertainment and non-fiction we get seem to merge together to not only create an environment where we sometimes aren't sure what is real, but can cause us to denigrate into a world of shallow emotional responses; as in, too much bombardment can cause the opposite of the intended effect--rather than spurring someone to go out and take action, they instead clam up.

That said, I'm still in the pre-planning stages for these two projects (and one other one which deals with the competitive e-Sports industry, but more on that later), and have several more ideas in the pipeline should these go moderately well. Funding will most likely be on IndieGoGo, as it seems to be a more welcoming place for artistic endeavors than KickStarter (although it doesn't have the same brand recognition). I'll be sure to post a link to the project page when we get it up and running. DH

$25p/h

Daniel H.

Expert Final Cut Pro Video Editor Specializing in Narrative Cinema

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