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CPH:DOX Opening 2015

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How to Succeed as a Documentary Filmmaker 2

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Actor/comedian/writer/banjoist Steve Martin’s advice to people who aspire to get somewhere in show business is that you just have to be “undeniably good.” It probably works in more fields than pure show business. The documentary filmmaking business, for instance.
On the other hand, as there are many opinions on what’s good and what’s not, maybe we should tweak the bon-mot a bit:
To make it, you just have to be “arguably good.”
It just seems more dialectical appropriate to have an argument that to be undeniable. The latter is a little, you know, self-sufficient.
Even better, when I think about it, it would be if what you do is raising questions rather than having arguments. The latter seems a little confrontational.
So, to make it, you just have to be “questionably good.”
Then again – who knows what is good or not? Certainly not the people in charge. Jeez, have you seen the majority of products out there? In any field? So making stuff to be “good”, what is that? A lot of people making crap ar…

Something to ponder over the summer

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Following my latest blog – where I wondered why all the graduation doc films from The Danish Film School had to be exactly 30 min., and thus (in my opinion) were not as good as they could have been – I was tempted to go a step further:
Why do us documentary film makers still submit to the fact that our films need to be exactly 28:30, 58 or whatever minutes long when working with TV?
Oh, you say, it’s so they can fit into the schedule where there are regular programs like news or… well, mostly news… at fixed times, say at 9 o’clock.
Oh, I say, so you’re telling me that the programmers of TV can only manage fixed program lengths because… because what? Because their software can only handle specific numbers?

I know it’s a lot easier to fill a program slot if you more or less know what is coming in, but last time I looked we don’t have a new slot starting every full hour like the TV networks in the US do. We can start a program at 7:55 PM if we like… and even if you have a full hour, you ca…

Afgangs-dokuer fra Den Danske Filmskole 2015

(In Danish - about this year's graduation docs from Danish Film School)

Filmskolens seks dokumentar-afgangsfilm i år (TV-tilrettelæggerlinjen) har nogle fællestræk, som springer i øjnene. Så forskellige de end er, så er det sparsomt, hvad man som seer får af faktuelle oplysninger. Det er helt fint – det er sundt at lede lidt i sit hoved, mens man ser film. Og ligeledes er deres narrative struktur stort set ikke bundet op på en tidslig eller dramaturgisk model med fortællebuer og overtydelige handlingstråde, som man er vant til fra tv-dokumentarer. Det er jo aldeles forfriskende i sig selv.
Men hvorfor de så alle skal vare præcis 30 minutter virker derimod noget kontraproduktivt. Det skyldes givetvis aftalen med DR (som også står som co-afsender på forteksterne), men desværre bliver det tydeligt for mig, at flere af filmene ville have haft meget mere glæde af at vare 18, 24 eller 38 minutter. Og ikke mindst: JEG ville have haft meget mere glæde af dem. Der er givetvis også nogle bagv…

BACON I BAGAGEN – hvorfor i alverden?

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(In Danish - about a book I've written (also in Danish))

Seneste: Lektørudtalelsen fra DBC kom for nylig, og jeg troede ærligt talt ikke mine egne øjne, så positiv er den. Her er et par citater: "Mikkel Stolt fascinerer med en både underholdende, skæv og tankeprovokerende roman...", "forfriskende anderledes" og "...et absolut must på mange biblioteker".

Men hvorfor overhovedet skrive den bog? Først og fremmest fordi jeg er blevet gladere og gladere for at skrive. Det er nemt og koster ikke noget, og jeg behøver ikke spørge nogen om lov. Faktisk kan man gøre det nøgen på sin terrasse.
Men jeg havde altså fået trykt en rejseartikel i Berlingeren, så jeg skrev nogle flere, som jeg dog ikke fik afsat. Så tænkte jeg, at man kunne samle dem i en bog, hvorfor jeg sendte dem til et forlag. Redaktøren kunne dog ikke lige se det for sig, men han havde netop set ”Min Avatar og Mig”, og var ret begejstret for vores blanding af dokumentar og fiktion, så han foreslog …