Visual Audio

Still of group of forty-eight Narrator None was more young RAF men. than twenty-two years old. Still as above, showing only ten remaining. Of the forty-eight men photographed at Bob's initial training wing, it seems likely that less than a quarter survived. I have emphasized the need for accuracy and detailed research if one wants to raise the level of the film above romanticized biography or fictitious history. To emphasize the point, I have set out below the comments of Leslie Woodhead...

The Directors Burden

We looked at some of the director's day-to-day problems in chapters 11 and 12, but there are also wider problems that you must confront sooner or later, the most serious of which concern ethics. I am presenting ethical concerns here as a director's problem, but it goes without saying that it is also a matter of serious consideration for the writer. The relationship of ethical considerations to film practice is one of the most important topics in the documentary field. The problem can be simply...

The Sound

Once you have finished picture editing, you have to prepare and mix your various sound tracks. You may be dealing with five or more tracks, the most common ones being the narration and sync tracks, two music tracks, and at least one effects track. Ultimately, you mix them down into one master track for 16mm films, or two for stereo or video. In film, this is done in a dubbing studio in video, most of the preparations are completed in the off-line stage. The art of preparing for a mix is the...

Rhythm Pace and Climax

A good beginning takes you into a film with a bang, with a sense of expectation. The problem then is how to sustain that interest for the next half hour or hour. A lot of the problem is solved if you have provided yourself with a solid structure for the film. Even so, there will be pitfalls that can be avoided if you have thought a little about rhythm, pace, and climax. These are obviously not just elements of documentary films but elements that every writer whether novelist, playwright, or...

Audio

Narrator In August 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed in about nine seconds by a single atom bomb. The man responsible for building the bomb was a gentle and eloquent physicist named J. Robert Oppenheimer. This is the story of Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb. Hakon Chevalier Stinson beach, California, August 7, 1945. Dear Oppie You are probably the most famous man in the world today, and yet I am not sure this letter will reach you. If it does, I want you to know we are very proud...

Editing Videotape

Most of the points I have made about film editing also apply to videotape editing. You use slightly different technical methods, but your mind-set is the same. This being so, I merely want to comment on a few points worthy of attention. Your initial cut will probably be done off-line in a small, low-cost studio. The purpose of your off-line edit is to create an edited work print and an edit-decision list EDL . When that stage is complete, you move to an on-line studio, where you do your...

Voice and Style

Before you actually begin writing the narration, you must consider what voice and style are most appropriate for the film. You probably thought about all these things very early on if that's not the case, you must think them through before committing yourself to the word processor. Is your style to be somber and serious, or are you aiming at a lighter and more folksy effect If you are doing a historical film, you will probably adopt the former. If you are doing a film on tourism or animals, you...

Shooting Abroad

When you shoot abroad, a tremendous number of extra problems arise, from different weather to extricating yourself from a revolution, and you must try to consider all the difficulties in the preproduction stage. Your aims are to shoot all you need, stay healthy, and come back with all your footage and all your crew. In most cases, you won't have a chance to retake, so your planning has to be especially good. The first thing to do is to hire a special production manager who is familiar with all...

The Budget

In budgeting, we are often faced with the eternal conundrum Do you budget according to script, or do you script according to budget There is no absolute answer, as the conditions under which you make each film will be different. Only one thing is important Your budget must be as complete and as accurate as possible. This point is more than important it is vital. If you make a mistake in budgeting, committing yourself to making a film for what turns out to be an unrealistic sum, you're likely to...

The Production Contract

Once you have done a realistic budget breakdown, you are in a good position to negotiate or finalize your contract with the sponsor. You may have made an informal agreement with them, but it's better to have a short memorandum in writing that records the basic terms of the agreement. This is much safer in the long run. It's also wise to exchange contracts before you begin shooting, though a surprisingly large number of people plunge into the film on the assurance of a mere handshake. I wouldn't...