Documentary Truths: (Sharing vs. Proprietary Info)
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Documentary Truths: (Sharing vs. Proprietary Info)

What is a research doc? And why is some of the content dated?

Well, if it’s on FlowTown Films and it’s labeled a Research Doc then it’s a market research documentary film, and because much of the content is proprietary to our clients, we tend to hold-off on pushing it onto the site until they have a chance to act on the information in the film. We also respect the brand’s confidence in us that we won’t share anything that will reveal their internal dialogue so we present the longer documentaries as excerpts. Besides it’s a lot more entertaining to watch a 4-min demo.

How do clients know they’re getting a true representation of the facts?

The simple answer is to have integrity in every aspect of the production.  If we’re able to find the right people to talk to, and give them trust in the process, and practice professionalism and respect for their privacy and personal space, then they’re highly motivated to share their truths with us. Similarly if we expect our audience to believe the presentation of the documentary once it’s been cut, then that same trust has to be our guiding principle in the choices we make in what to include and what to edit out, and also where to place emphasis.

“From the beginning, the very choice of what to shoot, where to point the camera, which action to follow, and when to cut, not to mention the decisions that go into the editing process and sound mixing, imposes a vision on a film no matter what the intention.” – PBS Independent lens series, Cinema Verite: The Movement of Truth

Photo… D.A. Pennebaker with Bob Dylan – No Film School website “How D.A. Pennebaker Revolutionized the Rock Doc”