Thursday, February 23, 2012

FESTIVAL REPORT: Producing Your Own Documentary Workshop

Abigail Wright, who led Sunday's documentary workshop.
By Kristen Daly
BIFF DigiComm Commando

On Sunday afternoon in the Canyon Theater at the Boulder Public Library, filmmaker Abigail Wright brought up passion early in her discussion of making documentaries.  With all the work that goes into making a documentary, you need a passion which will sustain you for a long time.  The Workshop was a co-production of Boulder Digital Arts and BIFF and was a fascinating look at both the tangible and intangible aspects of documentary filmmaking. 

Wright of Miranda Productions has an award-winning background in documentary film and provided both an inspiring and practical overview of the making of a documentary.  Beginning with intensive and broad-ranging research, Wright covered the preparation that goes into a documentary well before any shooting begins.  She presented a different way of thinking about documentary in terms of classic feature genres like Western, Detective, War (with subsets for Survival and Sports), Science Fiction/Fantasy,  Music & Dance and Art & Culture.  She also stressed the visual nature of the medium, noting that only in recent centuries with widespread literacy have we begun to think in words whereas huge areas of our brain have been hard-wired for thinking and dreaming and even communicating in pictures and gestures. 
Abigail Wright leads the Documentary Workshop. [Photo by Donna Crain]
She also asked for participants' emails, in order to send a package of material to help in making a documentary. From budget to framing, Wright gave an inspiring presentation not to be found in a typical how-to seminar.

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