Making a Documentary About Your Family?

June 23rd 2010

4 things to remember when making a documentary about your family (Documentary Ethics Inside The Family):

Garnered from the filmmakers speaking at the Documentary Ethics Inside The Family panel at the International Documentary Conference.
There is a difference between the “personal” and the “private.” The personal is the part of the story that the audience can relate to in some way, a detail that brings out an element of universal truth. The private are the details that are self-indulgent for the filmmaker to include. Kaleo LaBelle, director of BEYOND THIS PLACE, highlighted the distinction.

Ethics are always a matter of what is not on the screen, either because it is off-camera, cut during the editing, or was never filmed to begin with. Words of wisdom from Ali Codina, director of MONICA AND DAVID.

You, the filmmaker (yes, you), need to be willing to share and reveal yourself as much as your characters. That gem was shared by the director of FAMILY AFFAIR, Chico Colvard.

Making your film should not be a substitute for therapy, for you or your family, even though it may be therapeutic. So offered Doug Block, the director of THE KIDS GROW UP
MONICA AND DAVID screens 6/25, 8pm, and 6/26, 11:30am

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