Cover image for The documentary filmmaking master class : tell your story from concept to distribution
The documentary filmmaking master class : tell your story from concept to distribution
Physical Description:
xii, 193 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

On Order

R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
Hardwood Creek Library (Forest Lake)1On Order



"A realist with a sense of humor, Chasse is both stringent and encouraging as she covers every aspect of creating a successful production." -- Booklist starred review

How to Make and Distribute a Documentary without Losing Your Mind or Going Broke

Documentary filmmaking requires more than just a passion for the subject, whether it be one's personal story or that of someone else, a historical event or a startling discovery, a political movement or a heinous crime. Making a documentary and getting it in front of an audience requires determination, careful planning, money, and a strong production team. With over thirty years of experience in filmmaking, author Betsy Chasse mentors readers every step of the way with a down-to-earth approach and invaluable advice. Chapters cover topics such as:
Choosing a Subject Developing a Business Plan Securing Financial Backing Assembling a Production Team Nailing Interviews and Shooting B-Roll Getting through Post-Production Distributing and Marketing the Film
Both novices and experienced filmmakers will benefit from this all-inclusive guide. With the right knowledge, persistence, and The Documentary Filmmaking Master Class in their camera bags, readers will not only turn their visions into reality, they'll be able to share the results with others and navigate the process with confidence.

Author Notes

Betsy Chasse is an award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author, and educator. She is best known as the co-creator (writer, director, and producer) of the hit documentary What the Bleep Do We Know?! In her thirty-year career, she has produced, co-produced, or line-produced over forty feature films and documentaries, including Song of the New Earth, Pregnant in America, and The Empty Womb. Chasse has also been an instructor in documentary film at the New York Film Academy, as well as a guest lecturer at multiple universities and documentary programs around the world. She is a sought-after film and media consultant, specifically in the areas of fundraising, production, post-production, and distribution. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

It's easier now than ever to shoot and screen documentaries by virtue of smart-phone cameras and burgeoning cable and streaming platforms. But this explosion in possibilities doesn't mean it's any easier to create a good documentary. Seasoned filmmaker, producer, and educator Chasse wants aspiring documentarians to know exactly how demanding documentary filmmaking truly is. A realist with a sense of humor, she is both stringent and encouraging as she covers every aspect of creating a successful production in The Documentary Filmmaking Master Class, beginning with the crucial questions of why the reader wants to make a nonfiction film. Chasse emphasizes management skills, emotional intelligence, and practical knowledge as she explains how to conduct research, create a business plan, raise funds, handle legal issues (with sample agreements), lead a production crew (Chasse warns against the lone-wolf approach, asserting that filmmaking is a collaborative art), conduct postproduction work, launch marketing, and secure distribution. This bracing guide will inspire new respect for the challenges and complexity of an often underestimated genre.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Section I Before You Invest Your Time And Money. Is It Worth It?p. 1
Chapter 1 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide to Embark on This Journeyp. 3
Chapter 2 A Little Research Goes a Long Wayp. 13
Chapter 3 What Is It Worth to You and the World?p. 21
Section II The Business Planp. 27
Chapter 4 What Is a Business Plan and Why Do I Need It?p. 29
Chapter 5 Business Plan Outlinep. 40
Section III Money, Money, Money!p. 53
Chapter 6 To Sizzle or Not to Sizzle?p. 59
Chapter 7 Securing Investorsp. 61
Chapter 8 Crowdfundingp. 66
Chapter 9 Grants and Alternative Funding Sourcesp. 73
Section IV Productionp. 77
Chapter 10 What Are Your Legal Requirements?p. 79
Chapter 11 Your Teamp. 89
Chapter 12 How Do I Get What I Want from an Interview?p. 97
Chapter 13 B-Roll and Other Cool Stuff That Makes Your Film a Filmp. 104
Section V Postproductionp. 113
Chapter 14 Putting All the Pieces Together to Tell a Compelling Storyp. 115
Chapter 15 All That Other Stuffp. 125
Section VI Marketing And Distributionp. 129
Chapter 16 Film Festivalsp. 131
Chapter 17 Theatrical and Third-Party Distributorsp. 143
Chapter 18 Self-Distribution and Ancillary Productsp. 160
Chapter 19 Marketing (Traditional, Grassroots, Social)p. 165
Section VII The Wrapp. 175
About the Authorp. 179
Indexp. 180