on June 25, 2001
This book is a masterful resource for any filmmaker regardless of their expertise.
No one has come close in their summation of the documentary process. It is 2001, the book was released in 1996, it is timeless. The best book on the market, a better book could only be devised by the author.
Four years of preperation in one book. Every student, professional filmmaker, enthusiast should have it. I have even allowed persons/subjects whom I was documenting to read this book. It made the process that much easier. They were extremely thankful. PURCHASE THE BOOK.
on July 19, 1999
Before you pay a lot of money for a documentary filmmaking class, I strongly recommend this book. It seems to cover all the bases of the process (don't expect much info on equipment though) and includes insightful anecdotes from real situations. Rosenthal guides you through the entire evolution of a documentary from the conception of the idea, writing proposals, dealing with sponsors, locations and crews to distribution to the ethical responsibilities of a director. One distinguishing factor of this particular book in comparison to other books on filmmaking is its spectrum-from independents to corporate to public service films.
on May 17, 1999
Rosenthal has written a fairly comprehensive guide for aspiring and new documentarians. He covers everything from initial idea through proposal to marketing and distribution, including delicate topics like how to explore your initial idea and figure out if it's any good, and where to look for funding. He mentions a lot of details that are easily missed by amateurs, all of which could be disastrous to production. My only reason for holding back a star is that I would have liked a bit more depth to the examples (e.g., a full sample budget instead of an outline of what to include).
on September 26, 2001
There is little in written text that summarise the worth of this book. I was so moved by its detailed and incisive content and direction that I sold my kids to afford the time and space, the peace required to absorb the rivetting content.
As I sat at my video production terminal I realised that the nirvana of books on docudrama had been produced. This is the sort of book that makes you go and get the authors name tattooed on your butt.
Buy , buy , buy ..
on April 26, 2002
Even while reading this book I was able to pitch an idea for an event and documentary project, my first, and gain acceptance for the project. The concepts are helpful as well as practical.
I read a lot of books once I am interested in a subject and I would place this one at the top for documentaries.