Documentary Storytelling (3rd ed.)

Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films

by Sheila Curran Bernard

Documentary Storytelling: Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films
Subject categories
  • 9781136042263
  • 9781136042256
Documentary Storytelling is unique in offering an in-depth look at story and structure as applied not to Hollywood fiction, but to films and videos based on factual material and the drama of real life. With the growing popularity of documentaries in today's global media marketplace, demand for powerful, memorable storytelling has never been higher. This practical guide lays out the basics and applies them to diverse subjects and film styles, from cinema verite and personal narrative to financing and budgets. It shows how good storytelling can bring mundane or difficult subjects to life, and demonstrates that good films can be both rigorous and entertaining.

Offering practical advice for ever state of production, Documentary Storytelling is filled with real-world examples drawn from the author's career and the experiences of a range of filmmakers, both emerging and established. Special interview chapters explore storytelling as practiced by David Guggenheim, Jon Else, Nicholas Fraser, Susan Froemke, Sam Pollard, Onyekachi Wambu and others. This third edition has been updated and expanded, with a look at newer and internationally-distributed films. It also features new coverage of financing and budgeting in the world of digital distribution of documentary films and the troubles that young filmmakers face as a result.

  • Taylor and Francis; September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781136042263
  • Edition: 3
  • Read online
  • Title: Documentary Storytelling
  • Author: Sheila Curran Bernard
  • Imprint: Focal Press
Subject categories
  • 9781136042263
  • 9781136042256

In The Press

"With all the buzz over blockbuster docs, Focal Press serves up a perfectly timed winner in a much-neglected area. True to the nature of the beast, the book is more about filmmaking as a whole, and how and where storytelling weaves into the overall process."
--Canadian Screenwriter (Writers Guild of Canada"

"Bernard demonstrates to documentarians how story can be more effectively incorporated into every level of nonfiction filmmaking, from conception to development and pre-production, in the field and in the editing room. Her discussions incorporate many examples from contemporary documentaries to illustrate a variety of salient points."
-- Documentary (International Documentary Association)

About The Author

Sheila Curran Bernard is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and the author of Documentary Storytelling, a best selling guide to story and structure in nonfiction filmmaking, and , a guide to using archival footage and material in films. Her archival film credits include the series Eyes on the Prize, I'll Make Me a World, This Far By Faith, America's War on Poverty, and School, for which she also co-wrote the companion book. She has taught at Princeton University and Westbrook College and recently joined the faculty of the University at Albany, State University of New York.