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DOC MAKER'S TOOL KIT

DOC MAKER'S TOOL KIT

Videos, podcast episodes and articles by documentary filmmakers


 

 

 

  All Humans Are Capable Of Murder by Joshua Oppenheimer

THE ACT OF KILLING is nominated for a 2014 Independent
Spirit Award

 
(Watch the video interview here)

Making THE ACT OF KILLING Gave Me Nightmares And Insomnia by Joshua Oppenheimer

 

 

How I Was Able To Document Killers Of Indonesian Mass Murder by Joshua Oppenheimer


 

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How We Avoided THE ACT OF KILLING Being Banned In
Indonesia by Joshua Oppenheimer

 

(Watch the video interview here)

 


 
'My Interview Tips To Documentary Filmmakers' by Paul Blackthorne for THIS AMERICAN JOURNEY

  

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(Watch the video interview series here)

TINY: A Story About Living Small is heading to SXSW! Congrats to filmmakers Merete Mueller & Christopher Smith. This is a film we have anticipated for a long time. As a way to celebrate we compiled our full interview with the filmmaker into one video. Hope you enjoy and look for their film in 2013.




(Watch the video interview here)

Filmmakers Kirby Dick (INVISIBLE WAR, OUTRAGE, THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED), Ondi Timoner (DIG!, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC) and David Weissman (THE COCKETTES. WE WERE HERE), along with IDA moderator Lisa Leeman (ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT, CRAZY WISDOM) discuss their tips on directing for documentaries and preparing for the interview.

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Filmmaker / Musician Rebekah Starr tells us the idea that sparked her documentary film MY WAY. 




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'How We Cast Ron Jeremy' by Rebekah Starr for her
documentary film MY WAY.
 
 


(Watch the video interview here)

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(Watch the video interview series here)


My Life As A Full-Time Filmmaker - The Complete Film Courage Series With Hunter Weeks

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Filmmaker Tony Zierra tells us that the sales spikes his film MY BIG BREAK receives is when his filmmaking team, which includes Producer Elizabeth Yoffe, generate their own activity toward the movie.  He believes in directly targeting your audience and consistently spreading word about your film everyday.  He finishes with advice on how we should promote our film GOODBYE PROMISE.

Filmmaker Tony Zierra tells us that the sales spikes his film MY BIG BREAK receives is when his filmmaking team, which includes Producer Elizabeth Yoffe, generate their own activity toward the movie.  He believes in directly targeting your audience and consistently spreading word about your film everyday.  He finishes with advice on how we should promote our film GOODBYE PROMISE.


(Watch the video interview here)

‘How To Build Trust With Your Documentary Subject’ by Michael LaPointe

 

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Filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton (Somewhere Between) on the Importance of a Supportive Filmmaking Team.

(Listen to the podcast interview here)

 

(This show originally aired June, 2011) Filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton is in the Film Courage studio how she got into producing (Whale Rider, Shipping News), why she decided to roll cameras on her latest documentary Somewhere Between, the issue of young girls being abandoned and left for adoption in China, and what she would have done had the film not gotten into HotDocs and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Todd Hickey (Takesdowns & Falls) tells us his plans for his next film and why he is considering villains as subjects as opposed to heroes, whether he fears a backlash if he does make the film, and integrity in his filmmaking.

(Listen to the podcast interview here)

(This podcast originally aired in 2010)

Filmmaker Todd Hickey drops by the Film Courage studio to share with us how "underachieving" in wrestling has fueled his passion for filmmaking, how a story he pitched has become a new movie starring Nicholas Cage & Guy Pearce, how he managed his way through 500 hours of footage in the editorial process of Takedowns and Falls, and how he has used "co-ops" to help spread the word on the film.

(Listen to the Podcast Interview Here)

Filmmaker Nick Lewis calls into Film Courage to share his story of a lawyer turned filmmaker in the making of Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story. We learn why he was compelled to make a movie about Jay's story, why he set a $215,000 Kickstarter goal, how he reached that goal, and the film's resulting theatrical deal. The film opened in over 100 theaters across the country in November 2011.

(This show originally aired in October 2011)


 

Filmmaker Tony Zierra and Actor Chad Lindberg of the documentary My Big Break join us on Film Courage to share with us their true and remarkable Hollywood story, that of three actor roommates who rose to stardom in the early 2000's (Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe, & Wes Bentley). We learn whether it was fate or not that brought them together, whether one can sustain a Hollywood career without a 'big break,' and why Hollywood doesn't want you to see this film.





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Actor Chad Lindberg tells us why MY BIG BREAK will always be a part of his life. He also shares why it is a teaching tool for filmmakers, actors and others in the industry, and he gives us his advice on following your dreams.

Filmmakers Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites call into Film Courage to talk about their latest film, 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film. They share with us why they have to make this film, how they got 99 filmmakers to join them on this collaboration, how they are keeping this film objective, and the challenges they have faced on the front lines.


Filmmakers Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz call into Film Courage to tell us why they are drawn to stories of poverty, violence, and education. They also tell us the reservations they had making the 2011 Sundance, 2012 Film Independent Spirit Award winning film "The Interrupters," how they were able to capture such intimate footage, how they were able to raise financing for the film, and what life was like for them over the course of the one-year production.




(Watch the video here)

Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz in the press room of the 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards after winning the Best Documentary Award for their film 'The Interrupters.'




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We've been hearing some great things about the first documentary KEVIN from filmmaker Jay Duplass about musician Kevin Gant. Also grabbing our attention was the fact that Jay has decided to use Kickstarter, not for himself but to help launch a comeback tour for Kevin on the film festival circuit.

Kevin Gant, World Guitar Poet and star of Jay Duplass’ documentary KEVIN joins us in the Film Courage studio to talk about his dream of making and sharing music and why he put the guitar down for 12 years, what led to his current rebirth, how the music game has changed and the impact Jay Duplass has had on him. Buy Kevin Gant's music here, Connect with him on Twitter.

Watch Kevin by Jay Duplass here.



(Watch the video here)

Kevin Gant talks about having nothing except what he has as an artist while sitting down with Karen Worden outside the Film Courage studio.


(Listen to the podcast here)

Director Matt Adams and Writer/Producer Andrew Flynn Soltys filmmaking team behind a feature-length doc Improv Everywhere call into Film Courage to tell us how much planning goes typically goes into each IE stunt, the pressure they feel to top their previous videos, how they have attracted the backing of Aubrey Plaza, Ben Folds & Nick Kroll, thoughts on how they raised $126,000 on Kickstarter and misconceptions people have about crowdfunding.

Patrick Shen on his latest doc 'IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE.'



(Watch the video here)

Patrick Shen and Brandon Vedder give us their take on rushing to meet a festival deadline, how they recharge their energy, and their film La Source.




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Filmmaker Pablo Pappano calls into Film Courage to tell us the life altering news he received while attending film school, common experiences he's had from online dating, why he was committed to making Clickin' For Love, and what he has learned from submitting his film to 80 film festivals.




(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Mike Stutz skypes into Film Courage to talk to us a subject most people do not want to talk about, suicide. He shares how suicide entered his life, his thoughts on Junior Seau, why he was compelled to make his documentary film Don't Change The Subject, why he is taking the film to colleges, and the impact it is having on audiences.



(Watch the video here)

To hear the full Film Courage radio interview archive, click here.  Filmmaker Gregory Bayne sits down with Karen Worden and Paul Borgonia to discuss how he balances being creative, connecting with his audience and raising his daughter.



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks shares her story of feeling disconnected and lonely despite having over 5000 friends on Facebook and how that isolation led her to make the documentary 'Face 2 Face.' The movie is not only her powerful journey to connect with her Facebook friends in person but of all of those she visited. The demand from others around the world to partake in the journey has prompted Katherine to say that Face 2 Face is more of a movement than a movie.



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks tells us she submitted her film Face 2 Face to 14 Film Festivals. Her plan is to travel with the film for 6 months during it's film festival run. She also plans to book the film in independent theaters where she believes audiences should see the film. She avoided larger fests who's focus are big name stars and budgets and she encourages her fellow filmmakers to be selective when submitting to film festivals.



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Katherine Brooks tells us how she gets herself mentally prepared for screenings & press, and her method for overcoming fatigue and exhaustion in a tireless business.



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Filmmaker Jeff Myers talks FORBES & the current state of Theatrical Distribution with Karen Worden outside the Film Courage studio.




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Filmmakers Joke Fincioen & Biagio Messina give us their thoughts on analysis paralysis, why first thought for filmmakers is to self-distribute over traditional distribution, and their opinions on social media.  To hear the full Film Courage radio interview archive with Joke & Biagio, click here.




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Filmmaker Meg Pinsonneault on the best way to approach corporate sponsors, whether she is plan-oriented or fatalistic, why she feels she is on the right career path and how to use jealousy as motivation.



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Filmmakers Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller tell us they were both first exposed to the tiny house movement by the same Yes! Magazine article in 2009 before they ever met. Christopher has always had a dream of buying land in the mountains and building a small cabin. Due to self-imposed limitations and building codes, Christopher turned his focus to constructing a tiny house as his best option.
 



(Watch the video here)

Filmmaker Jason Bergh on fatherhood and making a personal film entitled Alekesam - about musician Hugh Masekela and musician/host/actor/surfer son Sal Masekela (from the Hollyshorts 2012 Film Festival).



(Watch the video interview here)

Television host, sports commentator, actor, and singer Selema Mabena "Sal" Masekela tells us about his film "Alekesam," which is a documentary of his life as the son of Hugh Masekela, a Jazz musician also known for his activism.  The documentary was born out of Sal's decision to be a singer, something he had put off his whole life and then grows into a story that showcases his life journey as well as his dad's and their father / son relationship (interview from the red carpet at the 2012 Hollyshorts Film Festival).



(Watch the video here)

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Entertainment Journalist and Producer of 'Alekesam' Ben Lyons tells us how became a producer on Aleskesam, a short documentary on the lives of Sal Masekela & his dad Hugh Masekela.  He commends Sal for being brave enough to be the subject of this documentary, he talks about the connection people have to father / son stories, the surprise impact the film had on his own father, his belief in challenging ourselves to do something different and how that can help us return to who we really are.

 
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-Bending Steel: Better Than Fiction by Dave Carroll

-Finding My Voice by Logan Leistikow

-Mark Matthews and Ted Wallach on their Spiritual Documentary TREE by Film Courage

-The Practice of Being Human: The Social Aspects of Documentary Filmmaking by Patrick Shen

-Making Your Film Matter: An Introduction to Social Action Campaigns by Patrick Shen

-What Directing Documentaries Taught Me About Adaptation, Drama, and Truth by Amanda Lin Costa

-Fight Church: Exploring Christianity and Mix Martial Arts
by Eben Kostbar

-Can Living Small Go Big? A (Short) Documentary Film by Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith

-Final Film Courage by Tony Zierra

-Mark Matthews and Ted Wallach on their spiritual documentary TREE

-Witnessing Life In Gaza Through The Lens by Anne Paq

-On The Life of a Documentary (As Influenced by the Life of Kindness) by Sarah Sellman

-Clickin’ For Love and The Hard Realities of Indie Filmmaking by Pablo Pappano

-My Journey from the Crazy world of Hollywood to the Crazy World of Documentaries by Linda Goldstein-Knowlton

-Jill Heinerth Love the Places Where Her Friends Have Gone to Die
by Robert McClellan

-How to Terrify and Offend Your Entire Audience in One Easy Lesson by Mike Stutz

-Married, With Cinema ... A Couple Co-Direct ‘Of Two Minds’
by Lisa Klein and Doug Blush

-The Mystery of Marie Jocelyne by Martha Shane and Dan Nuxoll

-Making Your Premiere An Event by Sheri Candler and Jon Reiss

-Two Girls, One Camera by Carlye Rubin

-Backfires, Breakdowns, Blowouts: A Five-Year Ramble Down Route 66 by Chris Karman

Kickstarter - Reaching Beyond Friends and Family by Andrew Flynn Soltys


-America’s Forgotten Heroes: Humanity in Question for the Navajo People
by Ellen Downing

-The Personal Side of the War on Terror
by Cassidy Dimon

-Folk Me by Sara Terry

-Reel to Real: An Unfinished Symphony by Alyssa Bolsey

-Against the Odds: Fighting Societal Taboos and a Tanking Economy to Shed Light on Crimes of Rape
by Cecilia Peck

-Wisconsin Rising by Sam Mayfield



More great video interviews on the Film Courage

Youtube Channel

Plus!


Screenwriting Wisdom page

 

International Artists Tell Their Stories


Moving to Los Angeles....The Big Decision (Artists on Moving to L.A.)

Director's Tool Kit

Comedy Tool Kit