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    « Jacob Burns Film Center Presents "Out At the Movies" | Main | The Good Pitch Comes to North America »

    May 16, 2009


    For me the most fascinating aspect of the TDF was learning the language that commissioning editors use to talk about what they like and don’t like. There appears to be some consensus that:

    "Stock and talk" documentaries are out of fashion at the moment. And that there is interest in documentary films that go "across strands" .The red flags go up any time a filmmaker presents a "category killer".

    But keep in mind that "character-driven docs" with a clear "beginning, middle and end" that reveal "moments of therapy" are always interesting, especially when you can resolve the story by "bringing the mask down."

    International broadcasters are currently experiencing "Africa fatigue", however audiences will always connect strongly with "dire stories" that have "joyousness as the heart". If you want to fortify your pitch, show the editors that you have unique access and good report with your subjects because they will tell you that, "access is a major selling point for us."

    Take it a step further and make clear your motivation for making the film by communicating "your personal connection to the story".” There is also wide agreement that "humor is lacking" in contemporary documentaries and keep in mind that "new media aspects are very attractive".

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