What do you want out of a documentary?
Whether you watch them because you like to learn about nature, history, the environment or politics, every one has some has some genre of documentaries which they enjoy. But when perusing the list, what makes you pass over one and decide on another? Is it the people in it? Subject matter? The visual quality? Spunk? I am going to Egypt to make a documentary in two weeks. We have our vision in place, but it doesn't hurt to get a poplar opinion on things we should or should not have!
1) accurate, unbiased, demonstrable information - the more incredible, the better the case you make for it.
2) A clear message, especially if the topic is complex.
And any or all of the following:
- a compelling message
- visual beauty
- an engaging style
Good luck in your efforts!
I like getting the 'behind the scenes' details that explain the subject matter in a way that you wouldn't get from a news story. Unexpected and unknown information in real time for me makes a successful documentary.
Since it's such a subjective decision, I'll just give you my opinions on my what I look for, though I know I may have a very different idea of what makes a good documentary than somebody else. In order of importance for me: subject matter, quality of footage visually, input from experts in the field or local participants/observers, amount of new and old information, and style of narration. Have a wonderful time in Egypt!
It would need to be factual, and I think the music plays a big part in how it plays out. I am only interested in certain types of documentaries, like crimes, living on grid, different cultures, tribes, etc. I don’t like the Michael Moore and conspiracy theory type documentaries.
Some of my favorites are:
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about His Father
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
I have a few more that I cannot think of the names right now. Since you are going to Egypt, I'd be interested in seeing the people and their culture, foods, etc. more than landmarks.That's just what I personally like.
Have fun in Egypt! I'd love to go one day!
The great documentary about the place makes me feel the place, helps me to understand the dynamic, the history, the present and the future...the great documentary 'sucks' you in and teach you lesson you never forget....
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