GUEST BLOG // Benjamin Wigley @ Documentary Campus Masterschool
By Chris Black 03 September, 2012
This week we are delighted to host a guest blog from Benjamin Wigley, who is currently participating in Documentary Campus Masterschool with his first feature documentary Paa Joe: Dead not Buried. Over to Ben...
Doc Campus Masterschool Day 1: Potsdam | Update with Sam Anthony & Philip's Birthday
Today we discussed and scrutinised one another's trailers with our new tutor, Sam Anthony. We quickly discovered that the 2 main problems of trailers in general are:
- they're too long
- they're too unfocussed
When they show these two problems then the "teaser tape" / "trailer" / "sizzle reel" (whatever you want to call it) won't do what it needs to do - travel without you.
The trailer needs to sell your idea and you as a filmmaker and needs to do it on it's own. Imagine a financier taking it to their colleagues - how is the trailer going to sell itself and you when you're not there to explain it?
In the pitching process of your project, the trailer is second in line, snuggled between that first email you send and the treatment that you write...
1 - Email pitch - which TELLS the reader what you want to show them
2 - Trailer - SHOWING
3 - Treatment - the APPENDIX, explaining the details of your project
In all of stages, you must always be thinking of PROPOSITION vs PURPOSE
- What are you proposing?
- Why are you proposing it and why should someone give you the money to make it?
If you can nail all of the above, then you're in a pretty good position. And if you need any more tips, then look no further than Don Draper...
Day 2: Doc Campus Masterschool | Potsdam | Story and Treatment Update
The DCM is held at the impressive Konrad Wolf Hochschule fur Film und Fernsehen in Potsdam, Berlin – which is a fantastic space, a cross between universal studios and a filmschool based at the edges of Berlin.
We had our first group session with Mark Atkin and we were able to develop our narrative arc and scrutinise what the film is really about. Very pertinent questions and collaborative help from the group made for some developments in how we communicate our own project.
We were then able to test out what we discussed with our session with Andre Singer in the afternoon. The group sessions really provide a fantastic place for brainstorming and finding solutions for many projects – and I feel most projects have benefited from the conversations.
We finished off watching some great films in one of the five cinema screens within the institute. Tonight we're going to drink beer and eat pizza whilst we watch one of our classmate, Ziga Virc's, Academy nominated short film.