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"How Documentaries Work" • Oxford University Press

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Published January 23, 2023 – On Sale Now!

How Documentaries Work breaks down the hidden conventions of documentaries in clear and accessible language for film students and documentary enthusiasts alike. Jacob Bricca, ACE, an award-winning documentary director, producer, and editor, provides a behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood view of what's really going on in the construction of nonfiction films and television shows.

 

This book presents examples from contemporary documentaries and docuseries and delivers insights from some of the most exciting nonfiction filmmakers and craftspeople working today, including director Steve James, producer Amy Ziering, editor Aaron Wickenden, and composer Miriam Cutler.

 

Chapters such as "Flow," "Narrative," and "Time" offer a new way of looking at documentary film language, while others like "Titles," "Music," and "Sound" deliver extraordinary insights on seemingly ordinary topics. A compact volume written in plain, easy-to-understand language, this book promises to change the way you think about nonfiction films and television shows forever.

Jacob Brica's brilliant new book is a thoughtful and thorough exploration of the grammar of documentary. This is a must read – for filmmakers and viewers alike – as Bricca deconstructs the tools and tricks of our trade. As someone who has been editing documentaries for years, I found that every word of this book rings true.

                                           – Kate Amend, ACE

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