Rise UP! Document the system! (Documentary How to?)
June 2, 2010 7:36 PM Subscribe
ActivistFilter: I'm done, I'm going rogue, I'm fighting the system, I'm doing it Guerrilla style, I'm 100% serious: Our first project is a documentary, but we don't know how to make a documentary.
posted by DetonatedManiac to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My cousin and I are fed up and going to fight back... with words, images and knowledge, but probably not much money.
Leaving the larger activism question aside, lets focus on the immediate project, which is a Documentary that needs to be made.
We do not have any film experience per say, but we have passion and, whats better, the topic we are exploring is local, accessible (My aunt, my cousin's mother, works at and is leading the fight to protect this public institution in our area) and touches on everything we care about... there is a labor aspect, a social justice aspect, and a use of public lands vs commercial interests aspect, and a mental illness/exclusion/stigma aspect. And it is a gripping story in that (unfortunately) it bleeds... due to poor staffing and training there have already been deaths of patients and nurse injury at the new facility that is meant to house the outflow.
From my aunt we have some pretty easy access to the underdog side of the fight, The union, the activists, etc but we do want to get access to the "system" side of the story (state legislators, city officials, the hospital, the bean counters).
What I am concerned about is this institution is closing in less than a year (well, they've said that for 6-8 years, now, but now it is getting serious). So we need to get material fast and hopefully be able to release the "protect the hospital" version of the documentary soon enough to effect the outcome. I'd like to make a full length or other projects that examine the deeper aspects later, but that can wait (though it would be great to have some of the video content in the can).
Also, there are a ton of legal problems since it is a hospital and HIPPA etc, I'd love to get the patient interviews and reactions.
So please help, how do we go from basically zero to documentary film in 6 months on a shoestring and no experience? Technical help and legal assistance is primary concern, but also any resources on good interviewing, researching, and eventually distribution methods and other related areas appreciated.
BTW, I'm not talking about some sort of full length feature documentary or traditional distribution methods (though that would be great.) We are prepared to release the film for free on the internet with backyard screenings if that helps. In mini-sodes, or as a integrated website with additional resources or whatever. But Right now I just want to capture the material on celluloid (or digital equivalent) so we can release something.