Chapter 3 Finding the Story

Armed with an understanding of story, how do you find one within a chosen subject for a documentary? Suppose, for example, that you’re thinking of doing a film about Elvis Presley, a bakery in your home town, or something about labor in the high-tech industry. Something about the topic has caught your interest, and you think you want to take it to the next level.

First, ask yourself what it is about the topic that grabs you. As the initial audience for your film, your gut reaction to the subject is important. Chances are it wasn’t a sweeping notion of Elvis Presley that caught your attention, but an account, perhaps, of his time in the military. It’s not the fact that there’s a bakery in your home town, but that rising ...

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