Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Documentary vs. Narrative

Elias and I have spent the past few days putting together some narrative scenes to be incorporated into the documentary and I have to say, I'm a lot more comfortable staging narrative scenes (short films, features, etc.) BTW, the narrative scenes are pieces of a play that are apt to the doc, so it's not like we're staging anything.

But my point is this: with documentary film, you have to film and film and film and film and film and then figure out what the hell it was you needed much after the fact. With narrative film, you know exactly what you need up front and you get it. You do it a few times to make sure you have it right, but you have it. To an extent, you have a degree of certainty of what you need to do to get what you need.

But with documentary, you have to show up and hope some magic happens.

I guess that's the same with both forms, but it's much, much easier to manufacture with narrative features.

But, when you do get some drama, or a character in documentary, usually they're so compelling and interesting that they outweigh anything you could write. Take Kay Anderson from This Divided State. We couldn't have written a better antagonist for a film.


I'm not really sure what I'm saying, only that I feel much more comfortable staging narrative than documentary. I guess it's just because I've way more practice at it.

Or something.

I won't blame you if you quit reading the blog after you finished reading this rambling piece of shit.

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