Rob Epstein: The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making

The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making
Praeger, 2012
Hardcover, 248 pages, $48

The past few years have featured such blockbusters as Super-Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, March of the Penguins, and An Inconvenient Truth. And as news articles proclaim a new era in the history of documentary films, more and more new directors are making their first film a nonfiction one. But in addition to posing all of the usual challenges inherent to more standard filmmaking, documentaries also present unique problems that need to be understood from the outset. Where does the idea come from? How do you raise the money? How much money do you need? What visual style is best suited to the story? What are the legal issues involved? And how can a film reach that all-important milestone and find a willing distributor?

Film Program chair Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (cofounders of Telling Pictures Inc. and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers) tackle all of these important questions with examples and anecdotes from their own careers.