Cover image for Documentary filmmakers speak
Documentary filmmakers speak
Stubbs, Liz.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Allworth Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 227 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1995.9.D6 S853 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A filmmaker takes readers behind the lens in a series of candid interviews with creators of some of the most influential documentaries of our time. Filmmakers, film students, documentary makers for film and television, and lovers of pop culture will hear, in the filmmakers' own words, the challenges and triumphs faced in making documentaries. Firsthand knowledge is shared on such topics as how the documentary process differs from making fictional films, storytelling technique, ethical boundaries, funding, film festivals, and much more. Industry leaders and award-winning filmmakers interviewed include: Ross McElwee, Albert Maysles, Susan Froemke, Bruce Sinofsky, Liz Garbus, DA Pennebaker, Chris Hedegus, Allie Light and Nick Broomfield. This reference provides insight into some of the most potent and best-known documentary work done in recent years

Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.

Author Notes

Liz Stubbs is a writer/producer with a specialty in documentary and independent film. She has produced and written for a wide variety of film and broadcast projects, has written for film and video publications, and has worked as an editor and reporter for the news media

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Documentary films are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Ken Burns' TV series have drawn huge ratings, at least for PBS; HBO and other cable channels fill out their schedules with nonfiction films; and Michael Moore's satiric features meet with unprecedented success on big screens. Stubbs interviews 13 filmmakers, from cinema veritepioneers Albert Maysles (Salesman) and D. A. Pennebaker (Don't Look Back) to newer practitioners with fresh approaches, such as Ross McElwee (Sherman's March) and Nick Broomfield (Kurt and Courtney). Other subjects include Barbara Kopple, an Oscar-winner for Harlan County, U.S.A.; Chris Hegedus, who documented the dot-com crash in; and Burns, the genre's golden boy. They all share their observations about such matters as the effect of the camera's presence on their subjects, the difficulties of obtaining financing, and the inevitable switch from film to digital video. Several mention the experience of starting off to make one kind of film, only to end up with a different kind, the product of an unscripted spontaneity that fiction films can only enviously imitate. --Gordon Flagg

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Chapter 1 The Road to Realismp. 1
Chapter 2 Albert Maysles Father of Direct Cinemap. 3
Chapter 3 Susan Froemke Celebrating the Craftp. 21
Chapter 4 D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus Engineering Nonfiction Cinemap. 41
Chapter 5 Ken Burns Emotional Archaeologistp. 69
Chapter 6 Ross McElwee Personal Journeymanp. 93
Chapter 7 Liz Garbus Confronting Humanityp. 109
Chapter 8 Nick Broomfield Modern Adventurerp. 127
Chapter 9 Joe Berlinger Journalist Storytellerp. 141
Chapter 10 Bruce Sinofsky Experiential Filmmaking: Bringing Us into the Storyp. 161
Chapter 11 Irving Saraf Recreating Emotionsp. 181
Chapter 12 Allie Light Searching for Metaphorp. 195
Chapter 13 Barbara Kopple Through the Lens Fearlesslyp. 209
Indexp. 221