MIFF began, somewhat shakily, with an awful Almodovar film I’m So Excited!. I’m a big fan of Almodovar’s films but this is one that someone should have suggested he leave alone, I believe.
Anyway, this weekend saw the seventh 37 Degrees South (latitude of Melbourne, not to be too parochial) Market. Quite a few local and interstate producers, sales agents and distributors milled around, and some of the talk sessions were interesting.
It was also the seventh Books at MIFF, where book publishers attempt to sell the film or TV rights of their favourite projects to producers. I don’t know of any that have been picked up at the event. However, a few years ago Warp Films did purchase the screenplay Snowtown, based on a non fiction book that had been cannily optioned by writer Shaun Grant. So there is hope!
US-based Australian producer, Brian Armstrong (Red Rock Films) talks the modern art of not writing documentaries for the American networks.
Armstrong mainly talked about how to write narration and structure documentaries for today’s television world, and to provide the latest trends from an American perspective. He was also shamelessly promoting his recent book, The Exotic Booze Club, which mainly follows his exploits in making docs for Nat Geo around the world.
So why the not in the secret art of not writing?
Because, according to Brian, if you do it right the pictures will say it all. It’s not a new philosophy, but it’s even more relevant in programs with a ‘reality’ feel. You get information in these programs, but you shouldn’t notice that you’re getting it.
Continue reading Writing for reality TV and documentary