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I have an idea for a documentary. Now I just need to see some similar ideas so I can figure out how to do it.
April 14, 2011 12:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of putting my resources into a documentary on a small quirky themepark that went out of business a while ago. What I need are good examples of feature length documentaries on unusual places so I can see how one would be produced.

Basically I think it's time that I took on a project. I have an idea for a documentary on a place that went out of business but, during its time, was a one of a kind place with rides and history that was unusual. What are some good examples of feature length documentaries on quirky places that I can use as learning tools for how to produce my idea?
posted by rileyray3000 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here's a doc I saw recently: Remembering Playland-at-the-Beach.
posted by vickyverky at 12:24 PM on April 14, 2011


You Must Be This Tall is a nicely done documentary about Rocky Point amusement park in Rhode Island. It was on netflix instant for a while, not sure if it is there now.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:30 PM on April 14, 2011


You could do worse than to track down WITF-TV's "Our Town" series. WITF is Central Pennsylvania's public tv/radio station, and did a series of programs about small towns in the area--partly by turning over the cameras to the people who know and love these places and their quirky histories. Here's Steelton-Highspire.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:38 PM on April 14, 2011


Just curious: do you have archival footage or will it be interview-based?
posted by mattbucher at 1:53 PM on April 14, 2011


PBS ran a series of shows. The Hot Dog Program and the Ice Cream show, and one on Great old amusement parks.

Good luck.
posted by Gungho at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2011


Maybe not an "unusual" place, but a quirky place so common you wouldn't think there would be anything to make a movie about: The Parking Lot Movie
posted by The Deej at 2:19 PM on April 14, 2011


There's a documentary about Chicago's now-defunct Riverview Park. I have not seen it.
posted by Xalf at 4:59 PM on April 14, 2011


Nightshade on the Passaic is a series of short documentary vids, along with a one shot book/magazine that is all about the Passaic River in NJ. It is a solid example of documenting one place obsessively. I recently read that a full length "Nightshade" documentary is in the works now.

This was put out by the Weird NJ folks, and if you poke around their website, and in back issues of the magazine, you'll actually find quite a bit about old theme parks that have gone out of business and been abandoned. The stuff about Action Park is especially entertaining.

"We Love You" is a feature length documentary on the Rainbow Family. It's worth checking out as another example of how a documentary can tackle one very specific, quirky subject/place. This was also the first film project the director, Jonathan Kalafer, created, so it might be a roadmap to getting your film off the ground starting from scratch. You can watch the whole doc online at the link above.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 7:13 PM on April 14, 2011


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