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Directing the Documentary, 5th Edition by Michael Rabiger

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Chapter 7Research

Research means immersing yourself in your subject so you can decide who and what you might film. Growing familiarity and analysis reveal which people, situations, and materials you’d really like for your documentary. Then you can direct a film with shape and purpose.

ifig0003.jpg Direct intelligently by reaching preliminary conclusions before shooting. If you don’t, everything will look equally useful. Afterwards your material will look like surveillance camera material—no weight, purpose, or inherent story.

Creating Restrictions

You research not just to discover people and situations but also to decide the restrictions that will narrow ...

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