Documentary Film Maker (with Jeremy Newberger)

If you want to have passion about what you’re filming...it’s fully committed that we’re experiencing the same wonderment and pain and chaos that the characters are experiencing, and if our passion for how much fun it is to do that translates, then we get good footage.

Documentary film is a truly amazing form of art and storytelling, and thanks to the rise in popularity of streaming services like Netflix, we seem to be living in the golden age of the documentary.  From gripping crime stories, to heart-opening human connections, to downright eye-opening, world-view-changing film, documentaries don’t just entertain, they educate.  And as Sea World can tell you post Blackfish, that education has a lot of power.  So what is it like to wield that sort of power?  What is it like to have your audience demand that you both entertain them, and give them some food for thought?

There’s probably tons of great documentaries that we’re not seeing because the film maker is not able to get it in front of who needs to see it to put it out there.
Drop into that country and leave the hotel and the tourist sites and see how people are really living there and what their story is. Not everything is so cut and dry and black and white...you can’t be so black and white when you go and experience the world.

Interview Contents

2:15 – The impact of Netflix for documentarians.

3:40 – Documentary distribution and film festivals.

6:35 – The business end of getting something on Netflix.

10:10 – Getting something produced by Netflix.

16:30 – The Evocateur doc.

20:30 – What is ‘against the rules’ for a documentary film maker?

22:30 – Editing a doc and the story changing over the course of filming.

25:40 – Crazy screenings and film reactions.

27:15 – How do you typically pick a story to make a documentary about?

30:50 – Have a voice and style.

32:00 – Getting funding from the national science foundation.

35:40 – Working on a film for 5 years, and changing as a person during that time.

38:25 – What makes a good documentary

40:00 - Jeremy’s favorite documentary to film thus far

40:45 - Being behind the lense

42:00 - Jeremy’s favorite documentaries

43:20 - Making a Murderer Doc: Who did it?

45:15 - Strangest/Most amazing day on set

47:30 - Documentaries changing the way Jeremy thinks and lives his life.

49:20 - Advice on how to get started as a filmmaker

54:10 - Where to find Jeremy’s movies.

Links

Ironbound Films

The Linguists

The New Recruits

Evocateur

The Anthropologist Screenings

Roger and Me

Power Trip

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Crumb

Murder Ball

Anvil

Waltz with Bashir

Born into Brothels

Blake Fletcher

San Francisco, CA

Livin it up!