ABSTRACT

I want to start this chapter with some advice, something that filmmakers often overlook: if you want an audience, you have to think of your audience. Now that I work as a consultant, I see filmmakers neglecting to think of this all the time. What do I mean by that? I mean think about who you’re trying to reach. Michael Moore believes that you should never forget that you are entertaining people. I often think of someone who works for Greenpeace; they don’t necessarily want to come home and in their own time turn on a film about forest destruction unless there is a surprising and startling story behind it. If you are passionate about an issue think about how you can tell a story to make people care. This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, but with feature documentaries we’re trying to get our work widely seen. With short documentaries you have more ability to not work within limitations, and that can be their inventive beauty. I’m not saying box yourself in with your feature, but do consider where you want it to go, and that will help with funding.