As an audience member, it is easy to watch a completed documentary – particularly a well-made documentary – and believe the story has unfolded in the only possible way. The film seems to build organically, following a logical path from a clearly-defined beginning to its natural climax.
When creating a documentary, however, your raw material is reality, and the possibilities are literally infinite.
What size and shape will your canvas be? How and where will you define its edges? Which figures will you include, and how will you paint them? What strokes will you use, what style, and in what palette?
In preparation for Sisters For Sale – the most complex documentary production I’ve yet undertaken – I’ve been studying other documentaries from around the world, and the ways in which their stories have been told.
Having steeped myself in documentaries, I’ve now lost my interest in other forms of film, and find it inexplicable that factual films so rarely reach audiences on the level that fictional films so often do.
These are stories which cover the full spectrum of human experience. They are stories of courage and weakness. They are comic, tragic, political, personal, intellectual, emotional, factual, philosophical, momentous, absurd.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll share some of the most fascinating documentaries I’ve discovered on my explorations so far.
Speaking of documentaries…
This March, the stories of P and myself were a key focus of Bargain Brides, a 50-minute documentary produced by MAKE Productions for Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia.
Bargain Brides was available online for a very limited time, and for those of you who were never able to see it, I’ve now added a short clip to the video below (which also appears on the new website).
I want to send a big thank you to Michelle, Tracey, Amanda, Julie, John, Emily, Lisa, Belinda, Sammantha and Franziska, who have already contributed this month to help me complete Sisters For Sale.
Your combined contributions will fund a full five weeks’ editing, and your selected rewards will be arriving shortly!
I am anticipating 26 weeks of editing to complete Sisters For Sale, and any contributions to help me cover the costs are greatly appreciated.
If you support The Human, Earth Project and all it has achieved, please take a moment to show your appreciation via the website and help me finish my work – even a small contribution will make a difference.
(PS. Earlier this week, there was an issue discovered when ordering photographic prints via our website – it has now been fixed and is working normally again!)