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The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide

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Table of Contents

CRAZY MAD THANX PREFACE INTRODUCTION 1-PREPRODUCTION GETTING STARTED . Learning the Filmmaking Process Film Books DVD Extras Podcasts Workshops Cable TV Instructional DVDs Web Sites Crewing Doing . Been There, Done That: Why Make a Documentary?-Albert Maysles . Doc Preproduction Introduction Documentary Goal GETTING THE IDEA . Brainstorming Your Idea . The Importance of Research . Been There, Done That: Research and Fact Checking-Safi ya Mcclinton . Interview Subjects . Approach and Storytelling . Been There, Done That: Concept and Storytelling-Sam Pollard . The Production Plan GETTING THE MONEY . Been There, Done That: How to Raise Money-Michelle Coe . Budgeting Your Doc Budgeting Forms Budgeting Software Estimating Costs . Hot Tip: 4 Common Budgeting Mistakes . Been There, Done That: Raising the M-O-N-E-Y-Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz . Hot Tip: 10 Ways to Lower Your Budget . Where to Find Prices . Budgeting-A Final Word GETTING THE GEAR . Choosing an Equipment Package . Been There, Done That: Using and Learning the Tools of the Trade-Susan Buice and Arin Crumley . Video Formats 101 What's Up with High Def? . A Quick Lesson in Tech Video What Are Pixels? What Is Resolution? Progressive vs. Interlaced HDV Image Size and Resolution . Hot Tip: What to Look for in a Camera . The Guide to the Camera Guide . Camera Guide Key Canon 3-Chip Mini-DV Camera Guide JVC and Panasonic 3-Chip Mini-DV Camera Guide Sony 3-Chip Mini-DV Camera Guide . Buying vs. Renting . Hot Tip: Educational Equipment Access . Doc Equipment Packages . Hot Tip: 5 Tips for Traveling with Equipment . Before You Shoot Be Practical GETTING THE CREW . The Doc Crew . Good Crew, Bad Crew Introduction Good Crew Members Bad Crew Members . Been There, Done That: The Producer-Director Relationship-Christina Dehaven . Assembling a Crew . The Crew Meeting . Feeding the Crew . Hot Tip: 5 Down and Dirty Food Ideas 2-LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION MANAGING LOCATIONS . Shooting on Location Managing Arrangements with Your Subjects Interview Locations . Location Management 101 Introduction . Sensitive Location Overview . PR Reps and Media Liaisons LOCATION LOGISTICS . Hot Tip: How Not to Get Your Camera Jacked Dealing with PR Reps and Other Media Liaisons Doc Location Ethics The Exception to the Rule . Been There, Done That: Being Prepared for Remote Locations-Alrick Brown and Micah Schaffer . Transportation Considerations . Hot Tip: Stealth Shooting Tactics 101 OTHER LOCATION ISSUES . Location Releases and Insurance Location Releases Location Insurance . Insurance Issues Do You Really Need Insurance? Shooting Without Insurance . Hot Tip: Shooting in Da 'Hood 3-IMAGE CONTROL AND CAMERA WORK IMAGE BASICS . Basics of Image Control Introduction . Focus Hallmark of the Pros Common Focus Hazards . Exposure Light Is Good Aperture and F-Stops . Zebra Stripes and Gain Your Friend the Zebra Stripes Using Gain to Boost Exposure . Color Temperature Color Temperature Basics (Very Basic) . White Balance When to White Balance White Balance Special Effects Mixed Sun and Indoor Lighting . Shutter Speed Basics Motion and Shutter Speed . Shutter Speed and Movement BEYOND THE BASICS . Hot Tip: Creating a "Film Look" . Manual vs. Auto Functions Use Manual Controls . When to Use Auto Functions Auto Zoom vs. Manual Zoom Surprises and Panics Run-and-Gun Shooting . Been There, Done That: Capturing Truth-Albert Maysles . Using the Zoom Control Adjusting Your Shot Using the "Digital Zoom" Function . Handheld Secrets of the Pros Forget the Tripod and Go Handheld Handheld Editing Considerations Motivation and Style . Handheld Camera Positions OTHER CAMERA CONSIDERATIONS . Using Tripods Introduction General Tripod Tips . Pre-Roll and End-Roll Pre-Roll and End-Roll for Each Shot . Set Recording Protocol . Color Bars Why You Should Use Color Bars How to Adjust NTSC Color Bars . Labeling Tapes Pre-Labeling Blank Tapes Record Tabs . Hot Tip: Cleaning Your Lens 4-LIGHTING SAFETY AND TOOLS . Electricity and Safety Electricity Considerations Safety Considerations . Lighting Safety Tip Sheet . How Not to Blow A Circuit . Lighting Tools of the Trade 3- AND 4-POINT LIGHTING . Interview Lighting Setups Introduction Learning and Mastering the Craft . The Key Light Light Setting Up Your Key Light . Hair Light and Backlight Hair Light Background Light The Cookie Effect . The Fill Light Fill Light Alternatives . Controlling Light Intensity . Down and Dirty DV Gel Guide . Anatomy of an Interview Kit . Hot Tip: 3 Tips for Shooting in Low Light . Miscellaneous Lighting Tips . Setting Up Lights in 5 Easy Steps . Lighting Cookbook Practical Lighting Setup 4-Point Lighting Setup Simple Lighting Setup Window Lighting Setup Anonymous Lighting Setup 2-Subject Light Setup Blacklight Setup 5-SOUND RECORDING SOUND TOOLS OF THE TRADE . Basic Sound Package . Intermediate Sound Package . Microphones-Boom Mics Introduction Boom Mics . 8 Quick Tips aor Better Booming . Good Boom, Bad Boom . Booming Technique . Microphones-Lavs and Handhelds Lavalier Mics Handheld Mics Wireless Mics . Mounting a Lav Mic Handling Subjects RECORDING TECHNIQUES . Hot Tip: 2 Subjects, but only 1 Lav Mic . The Right Mic for the Job . Recording Sound Levels Riding Levels Where Should Your Needle Peak? Beware of Prosumer Camera Audio Meters . Why Use a Mixer? . Using a Field Mixer . Other Mixer Features Limiter Lo-Cut Filter Pan Knob Monitor In Tone Generator Slate . 5 Sound Rules to Live By . Location Sound Recording Don't Just Look, Listen to Your Location . Location Sound Hazards OTHER SOUND TYPE STUFF . Down and Dirty DV Cable Guide . Miscellaneous Sound Tips Breakaway Cables Coiling Cables Hiding Mics . How to Use Sound Blankets Shooting in Rooms with Echo How to Eggroll a Sound Blanket 6-COMPOSITION AND COVERAGE WHAT IT LOOK LIKE? . Aspect Ratios Which Aspect Ration Should You Shoot? Widescreen Options . Shooting Widescreen DV . Hot Tip: Down and Dirty Widescreen . Composition Basics Introduction . Composition Tricks Hiding Undesirable Backgrounds Cheating Backgrounds . Lens Focal Length . Telephoto and Wide-Angle Lenses . Don't Just Tell 'Em, Show 'Em The Audience Wants to See Your Story POV Shots Put the Audience There . The Visual Language of Docs Cover Your Scene (and Your Butt) Establishing Shots The Establishing Sequence Wide Shots (WS) Medium Shots (MS) Close Ups (CU) 1-Shots 2-Shots Over the Shoulder Shots Reaction/Reverse Shots Dutch Angles Dolly Shots The Full Tilt Boogey Dramatic Zooms Executing the Move Cutaways . Storytelling and Cutaways How to Shoot Cutaways MORE VISUAL STORYTELLING TOOLS . Your B-Roll Is Your "A" Roll . Been There, Done That: Doc Storytelling with Animation-John Canemaker . Depth-of-Field Demystified Racking Focus . Hot Tip: Shallow Depth-of-Field . 10 Tips for Shooting Live Events 7-INTERVIEW PREP BEFORE THE INTERVIEW . All About Interviews Introduction Get Yourself Together . Final Preparations Equipment Prep Travel . Arriving at Location Setup Time Warm 'Em Up . Choosing Interview Backgrounds Storytelling Through Framing Using Props and Cheating Background Using Depth and Busy Backgrounds . Hot Tip: Easy Do-It-Yourself Backdrops MAKING THEM LOOK GOOD . Positioning and Eyeline Subject Positioning Interviewer Positioning and Eyeline . How Do I Look? Clothing . Video Clothing Issues . Fixing Faces . Hot Tip: Easy Powder Makeup WORKING WITH SUBJECTS . Talent Releases Get a Signed Talent Release Form Getting Release from Major Figures Verbal Releases . Been There, Done That: Fair Subject Portrayal and Releases-Albert Maysles . Briefing Your Subject . Instructing Subjects . Hot Tip: Keepin' It "Real" . Been There, Done That: When Subjects Want to Walk-Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz 8-CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS INTERVIEW QUESTIONS . Asking Questions and Responding Introduction . Form of Questions . Logical Order of Questions INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES . Been There, Done That: Interviewing Resistant Subjects-Safi ya McClinton . Hot Tip: How to Work a Press Conference . Interview Preparation and Warm Up Brainstorm and Write Out Your Questions Warm 'Em Up . Listening Skills . Responding to Your Subject . Been There, Done That: The Thin Line of Exploitation-Sam Pollard . The Soapbox Question . Hot Tip: Interviewing Celebrities . Monitoring Technical Issues Interrupting Your Interview to Solve Problems Using a Monitor and Headphones Other Things to Look Out For . Interview Hazards . The Wrap Out Before You Call a "Wrap" Thank Everyone.Profusely Packing Up 9-POST-PRODUCTION PREPARING TO EDIT . The Post-Production Process It's All About Post . Viewing & Taking Notes Viewing All Your Footage . Logging Footage Why We Log Organizing Your Shots The Log Sheet Technological Advances in Logging . Hot Tip: "Automatic" Tape Logging . Transcribing Interviews EDITING ISSUES . Who Should Edit Your Film? . Been There, Done That: Working with Editors-Sam Pollard . Time Code and DV Tapes A Quick Lesson on DV Tape Time Code Problems . Stock Footage and Music . Been There, Done That: 7 Commandments of Archival Footage-Rick Prelinger GETTING IT OUT THERE . Hot Tip: 5 Reasons to Get Down with Podcasting and Video Sharing . Been There, Done That: Finding an Audience Online-Susan Buice and Arin Crumley . Film Festival Strategy . Been There, Done That: Passion, Business & Filmmaking-Adrian Belic . 7 Ways to Work a Film Festival . Been There, Done That: How to Hustle at Sundance-Rebekah Sindoris and Christie Pesicka ANTHONY'S RECOMMENDED READS GLOSSARY INDEX About the Author Book and DVD Credits

About the Author

Anthony Q. Artis (prn. /ant-nee art-iss/) originally hails from Baltimore, Maryland, and has made his home in New York City for most of the last 15 years. There he has honed his skills as a straight up digital guerrilla. He has worked professionally in positions as diverse as producer, gaffer, cinematographer, and narrative projects and survived more low-budget shoots than he cares to admit. His feature films and TV shows have screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, the IFP Market, Slamdance, Cinequest, as well as on MTV, The Independent Film Channel and The special-FX make up, sound mixer, and location manager just to name a few. Anthony is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Since graduating, he has crewed and produced a variety of television, documentary Education Channel. Most notably, he produced the feature film, Shelter which won first prize for Emerging Narratives at the 2003 IFP Market along with many other awards on the festival circuit. Anthony can be seen in full guerrilla action as Associate Producer, Gaffer, and 2nd Unit DP in the feature documentary, Paper Chasers, which chronicles the hip-hop music industry and the down and dirty making of a low-budget guerrilla doc. Through the years Anthony has organized numerous student film festivals and trained hundreds of aspiring guerrilla filmmakers for major institutions, including New York University, New York City's famed LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and Baltimore County Public Schools. Anthony is presently the manager of the Film and TV Production Center at N.Y.U.'s Tisch School of the Arts where he coordinates the technical training and production equipment for all film and TV students. He most recently launched the Down and Dirty DV Podcast on iTunes and is currently producing an instructional series of guerrilla filmmaking books, DVD's, and boot camps. He remains an active guerrilla filmmaker, educator and "artrepreneur".


"The key to Artis' style is his instant accessibility. He strives to give daunting, complicated technical and aesthetic concepts total and immediate clarity....he's as attentive to the subjective, intangible aspects of filmmaking (such as working with crews and interview subjects) as he is to the objective, technical ones....Most of this information is as applicable to fiction filmmakers as documentarians, making Artis' book a handy guide for a wide range of beginning independent directors and cameramen." - American Cinematographer "Anthony Artis' "The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide" is a good primer for the entry-level documentary filmmaker, presented in a breezy, down-to-earth vernacular style." -Thomas White, Editor of Documentary Magazine, a publication of the International Documentary Association. "I vouch for this book...extremely helpful for the newborn documentary filmmaker." -Albert Maysles, Grey Gardens "A superb addition to the 'how to' subsection of your library, Artis' tome is concise, while containing useful, accessible information on every aspect of documentary filmmaking, all with a doggedly hands-on attitude. Five stars." - Empire Magazine "The book is a very easy, straightforward read with plenty of graphics to demonstrate proper and improper techniques.It is also extremely user friendly in its layout.. [It] will be helpful to you for many, many years to come." - Microfilmmaker Magazine "The book has a luxury presentation that makes you feel like a successful filmmaker - or that you soon will be - from the word go...Carried out in full colour, which makes a relief from too many academic tomes, its 296 pages are chock-a-block with very useful illustrations. But the clincher seem to be the DVD which is all part of the package. You're a filmlmaker, after all. A visual artist. Why would you want to spend all your time reading when you can be watching and learning." - British Film Magazine "Anthony Artis has consolidated years of practical, professional experience into the quintessential blueprint for documentary filmmakers. I have used the techniques in this book on my documentary and narrative film projects, knowing that budget should never stop a filmmaker from seeing his or her vision through. I highly recommend this book if you want to turn your limitations into assets. Now shut up and shoot!" -Pete Chatmon, Writer/Producer/Director PREMIUM and 761st "Plain and simple, nuts and bolts on making documentary films. It's told in a conversational manner with no wasted or minced words and most importantly no BS! Few books of this type would mention how important it is to take care of your crew and how that can dramatically improve the outcome of your film. Definitely told from an insiders point of view with useful and practical info that won't go over your head." -Cliff Charles, DP, When the Levees Broke, "The practical approach promised in the title is delivered fully by the text. Artis exposes the pitfalls that can swallow a beginning filmmaker and offers straightforward advice to avoid them." -Jonathan Luskin, Flying Moose Pictures, San Francisco. "The book is comprehensive and detailed. Indeed the most comprehensive practical (I do hate the word 'guerrilla', a filmmaker is surely at the end of the day just a filmmaker!) guide to documentary filmmaking I have ever come across! ... It has three principle outstanding qualities that you seldom find individually let alone together in the same book. The first is how comprehensive it is; the second is how intensely practical it is; and the third is how clear it is... But remember that this book will not tell you how to make a great film or indeed a good film. Or indeed even pretend to. But it will give you clear and practical guidance on how to make your film. And without such guidance it is hard to even get started. This book will help you do so much more than that! -Nik Powell (Director of the National Film and Television School in London) "...jam packed with useful information spelled out in a useful way. You can't ask for much more. This book gets a big recommend for aspiring documentarians and a solid recommend for other filmmakers, including aspiring narrative filmmakers, who will find plenty of the advice applies beyond documentaries." - Making the Movie "While focused first and foremost on documentaries, this is an utterly indispensable resource for anyone who wants to get their films made, on any budget... Smart, fun, and on your side, Shut Up and Shoot is packed with good stuff you'll otherwise have to learn the hard way." -Bill Camarda, from the December 2007 Barnes and Noble Newsletter Mr. Artis sets us straight from the start: "this ain't your mamma's film book; this is a book for people who want to make documentary films". He makes it emphatically clear when he adds: "This book is for people who are done talking about the films they want to make and who are ready to shut up and shoot". --Rob Goald, Film Festival Today, Online

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