Full Frame Musings

Still trying to soak in all the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival madness…it was truly a whirlwind of amazing films, incredible stories, and eye-opening advice about how to make documentary films.

Some of the answers to our questions that the directors provided for our Cheap podcasts were fascinating and really got me thinking. I’d like to try and answer a couple of them for myself now…based on my full frame experience.

What does it mean to be daring in documentary film? We had a lot of great answers to this: from being subversive, truthful, something PBS won’t fund….

I think right now being daring in documentary film means taking advantage of all some new techniques out there in addition the traditional methods to tell a story in the most powerful way possible.

Two of my absolute favorite movies at the festival did this in extremely entertaining ways- while still respecting the reality of the story. Purchase Order Pills
is the tale of a Spanish anarchist turned international forgery expert and used interesting animation with newspaper clips and drawings, interviews, old pictures, 1940’s movie footage, and digital reproductions of intricately drawn checks and passports to tell the story.

Man on A Wire Pills how much gyne-lotrimin used recreations, archival video, news clips, and cut together multiple hysterical recollections of the same story about Phillipe Petit, a man who tightrope walked across the World Trade Center (eight times in a row!) in 1974. The result was a fast-paced, touching truth is stranger than fiction drama.

And it also means experimenting with narrative itself: Observando el Cielo was a simple and elegant montage of images of the night sky in motion. At first, I felt kind of bored for the lack of any kind of narrative, since I had been so inundated by them for the past couple of days at the festival. But by the end the rhythm of the images moved me into a nice peaceful and meditative state. Sometimes a film can be a painting.

The other theme we got from directors in our interviews was the ambivalence of being a filmmaker in 2008. On one hand, with affordable HD cameras and home editing stations, it seems like the accessibility of this medium allows more first time directors to produce. However, it is still so difficult to get funding–even doc God Albert Maysles said it. One solution is more seed money grants based on emerging fimakers- such as the one offered to current UnionDocs residnet Nathan Fisher at the Buy Full Frame Festival.
Overall, amazing films. Great food. Fun people.

Rainy weather though. Oh and UNC lost. Can’t have it all I guess.

Thanks Full Frame!