2014

You - yes, YOU - may very well be my reader no. 5.000 (including Ukrainian hackers) and therefore I should give you a special treat. And since you are here at all I gather you either:

1) have a keen interest in documentaries
2) are said Ukrainian hacker, or
3) are my mother.

So what kind of treat do I have in mind? Is it a link to my feature article in a Danish newspaper during Christmas? No, and neither is it a list of my personal favorites on this blog ("Just pitch the damn thing" is really funny, and so are all three texts on "Docs and Humor", and there is also the piece I wrote on... (shortened by editor).

The treat is – ta-dah - a glimpse into the future, and I will divide it into the three said categories of possible readers.

1) In 2014 the documentary scene will still straddle in the huge field between documentary films with an artistic approach and TV-documentaries with a journalistic viewpoint. The directors of the first kind will have to lean towards the language of the latter to be able to meet the lower budget demands and the TV-people will say that they are very keen on the cinematic approach in the films but they won’t be able to do it themselves or pay for it. The really good films will still get more awards and fewer spectators than the really bad films and every commissioning editor will either look for the award sweeper, the game changer or the blockbuster. In either instance the creative path will most likely be well-trotted and too few in the paying end of the business will acknowledge that the true documentary film should be as much a work of art as a topical statement. Finally, the online distribution and crowd funding will not change anything (mostly it will cost the filmmakers a lot of time).

2) Існує пожежа в оленя з вашого саду. Це вірно, навіть виходити на вулицю і шукати.

3) No, mum, also in 2014 working as a director or producer in the documentary field will be very, very non-lucrative. It’s weeks and weeks of non-paid work – even if you DO get full funding for your film. But we keep trying because we just can’t bear watching anymore numbing TV and because we have a twisted and narcissistic urge to express ourselves… (and yes, working as, say, a hired hand on a film or as a commissioning editor is an entirely different matter).


The bleak future

Whoa… stop right there: Is there any reason to be this pessimistic? Didn’t films like “The Act of Killing” show that new radical ways of storytelling has a future? Isn’t there a huge bunch of upcoming talents with new ideas? Hasn’t TV learned that there IS an audience for well-crafted and artistic documentary films? Hasn’t a number of crowd funding campaigns achieved something?

All I really know is that I haven’t had a decent drink so far in all of 2014 so I’ll have one now and I hereby declare the bazar for open.


The colorful future

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