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Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen

Documentary Storytelling: Creative Nonfiction on Screen

Paperback Focal Press

By (author) Sheila Curran Bernard

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  • Publisher: Focal Press
  • Format: Paperback | 386 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 23mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 7 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0240812417
  • ISBN 13: 9780240812410
  • Edition: 3, Revised
  • Edition statement: 3rd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 25 black & white halftones
  • Sales rank: 95,874

Product description

Updated and improved, with new case studies and conversations with award-winning filmmakers including Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), James Marsh (Man on Wire), and Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes). Documentary Storytelling has reached filmmakers and filmgoers worldwide with its unique focus on the single most important aspect of documentary media-making: storytelling. Drawing on the narrative tools of the creative writer, the unique strengths of a visual and aural media, and the power of real-world content truthfully presented, Documentary Storytelling offers advice for producers, directors, editors, and cinematographers seeking to make ethical and effective nonfiction films, and for those who use these films to educate, inform, and inspire. Special interview chapters explore storytelling as practiced by renowned producers, directors, and editors. This third edition has been updated and expanded, with discussion of newer films including Waltz with Bashir and Why We Fight.

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Author information

Sheila Curran Bernard is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and the author of Documentary Storytelling, a best selling guide to story and structure in nonfiction filmmaking, and , a guide to using archival footage and material in films. Her archival film credits include the series Eyes on the Prize, I'll Make Me a World, This Far By Faith, America's War on Poverty, and School, for which she also co-wrote the companion book. She has taught at Princeton University and Westbrook College and recently joined the faculty of the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Review quote

"Bernard's brilliant and effective Documentary Storytelling...aims to guide the Errol Morrises of tomorrow with great advice and practical knowledge that every documentarian would benefit from."--Backstage "Storytelling--that's what this book is about. It's about the story, how to convey that story eloquently, effectively, and ethically...This book is absolutely brilliant."--Krista Galyen, AAUG Reviews

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part I Understanding Story Chapter 2 Story Basics Chapter 3 Finding the Story Chapter 4 Story Structure Chapter 5 Time on Screen Chapter 6 Creative Approach Chapter 7 Case Studies Part II Working with Story Chapter 8 Research Chapter 9 Planning Chapter 10 Selling Chapter 11 Shooting Chapter 12 Editing Chapter 13 Narration and Voice Over Chapter 14 Storytelling: A Checklist Part III Talking about Story Chapter 15 Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan Chapter 16 Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes Chapter 17 Ric Burns Chapter 19 Brett Culp Chapter 20 Alex Gibney Chapter 21 Susan Kim Chapter 22 James Marsh Chapter 23 Sam Pollard Chapter 24 Deborah Scranton Part IV Additional Material Sources and Notes Films About the Author Index