Sheffield Doc/Fest Podcast

The director’s role is becoming more fragmented in some factual programmes. Programmes are increasingly made to conform to strict pre-set formats with less room for distinct and innovative authors’ voices, with filming and post-production split between individual directors and edit producers. What impact does this have on the quality of programmes and the careers and skills of directors? Directors UK hosts this session on the problems directors face and the future of the director’s role.

Direct download: Directors_UK_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 4:07pm UTC

Film-maker Carol Morley created a sensational event with her latest film, Dreams Of A Life, a docu-dramatic study of Joyce Vincent, who became a tabloid story in 2006 when she was discovered to have lain dead in her North London flat for almost three years. The film touched on issues like social breakdown, sexual politics, and everyone's fear of loneliness but found something to celebrate in the happiness Joyce had brought to her friends. This film re-ignited interest in her earlier work, particularly The Alcohol Years, in which she turned the spotlight on herself. Now Morley joins Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw onstage to talk about her work. Is she an investigative-poetic realist?
Direct download: Carol_Morley_2012.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 4:47pm UTC

Off screen, Britain’s institutions – from the NHS to the police - are increasingly facing a crisis of trust. Many have responded by inviting camera crews in to offer a closer insight into their inner workings resulting in hit shows such as Keeping Britain Alive, Britain Behind Bars and Coppers. Do such collaborations offer an important corrective to a cynical mistrust in institutions, or is there always a trade-off to be made by ‘embedded’ journalists for such access? Are they just free PR for a finely controlled ‘good news’ narrative, or a genuine commitment to transparency?

Direct download: Documenting_Institutions_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:16am UTC

Interviews are a major weapon in the filmmaker's armoury. But how, when and where should they be deployed, how do you prepare, and how can you get to what you really want - the truth? In this session, four of the best filmmakers in the business - Bart Layton, Vanessa Engle, Olly Lambert and Richard Macer - give expert insight into the skill of interviewing. Drawing on clips of their own work - as well as others they admire - the session will give an insight into the secrets behind how some of the best interviews in documentaries have been bagged. To do so the tables will be turned on our four panellists, giving us a chance to see them in action - live on stage. In this session they will be both interviewer AND interviewee. Each will interview another filmmaker before swapping seats and sitting in the hot seat themselves. The subject matter: how to conduct an interview, of course. But will they get to the truth?
Ever found yourself in the back of a cab hurriedly writing down questions on the way to the master interview? Ever sat in an edit and wished you'd ask the killer question which now seems so obvious? Listen and learn from the masters and these things will surely never happen again - or your money back.*

*not really.

Direct download: Resized_Art_Of_Interview_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:19pm UTC

How much do filmmakers really get paid? Where does the money go? Who gets it? By examining the financial models for filmmaking in both North America and Europe, the panel will reveal just how films get financed and who gets the money. What are the differences between territories and who benefits the most. The panelists will reveal the real budgets, cost reports and financing deals on their projects in order to understand what works, and how we can all work together to improve the transparency and effectiveness of the documentary funding system globally, so that filmmakers are paid fairly.

Direct download: Financing_Documentary_Films_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:52am UTC

Nowadays, most filmmakers capture sound with on camera microphones. That’s great: it means just one person can make a film. But that leads to compromises. Whatever budget the Sheffield Inspiration Award winning Kim Longinotto (Sundance World Documentary Jury Prize for Rough Aunties 2008, Sheffield Doc/Fest Special Jury Award for Pink Saris 2010) has at her disposal, she always hires a sound recordist who is interested in doing observational documentary filmmaking. The results are consistently outstanding.
This in depth session explores the practicalities advantages and pitfalls of a shooter / director working with a recordist. What is the relationship between camera and sound? How to develop a silent rapport and a shorthand way of communicating? 
Direct download: Kim_Longinotto_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:28am UTC

In its 100-year history no British rider had won the world’s most demanding sporting event, the Tour De France. Until last year. Days later Bradley Wiggins also won gold at his home Olympics. Director John Dower had access to this extraordinary year. On Tour With Bradley Wiggins looks behind the scenes at how a film was made about a man who hates journalists and is a self-confessed loner who prefers the privacy of his own shed to company of others. How do you go about making an intimate portrait of a complex character, who is also an athlete in the midst of intense competition?
Direct download: Bradley_Wiggins_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:27pm UTC

To celebrate ten years of the classic, award-winning genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, the show’s creator and Executive Producer, Alex Graham, will be joined on stage by a Director and a Producer from the show, and Larry Lamb, who has undergone the Who Do You Think You Are? experience.

Direct download: Who_Do_You_Think_You_Are_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 4:16pm UTC

Join legendary film editor Walter Much in this fascinating masterclass covering his body of work, including his new feature documentary Particle Fever, which is screening at this year's Doc/Fest. Universally acknowledged as a master of picture editing and sound design, Murch has worked with, among others, director Francis Ford Coppola on such cinematic milestones as The Conversation, The Godfather I, II and III, and Apocalypse Now. From the point of view of someone who started working in theatrical features when computers were completely absent, to now 45 years later when they are omnipresent, Murch will explore the constants that nonetheless remain after the "bones" of celluloid and sprockets have dissolved away, and examine the salient technical, artistic, and philosophical differences between the post-production of a theatrical scripted film and a feature-length documentary.

Direct download: Walter_Murch_2013.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:18am UTC

With a distinguished panel of leading documentary makers and commisioners, this year's Question Time will be tackling some of the biggest issues facing documentary making today. Is there any room left on the main TV channels for serious documentaries about deeply unpopular topics? Is the title and brand now everything? Has the 'Reality TV' bubble finally burst? With recent successes like the Armstrongs and Trawlermen, is there now a chance for a new kind of docu-soap? Are new media like YouTube and pod-casting really adding anything to the art of documentary? And if content is the only thing that matters in the digital future what opportunities does the digital age present?

Direct download: BBC_Q_Time.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 2:01pm UTC

We may shoot with the best of intentions, but sometimes the people we film are left vulnerable or feel very aggrieved. Yet in this media-savvy age, where people willingly offer their lives, families, children, bodies and pets to be filmed, don't the public know just what to expect? This session probes case histories and experiences to examine what should be our moral "duty of care" towards those who have agreed to take part in our films. Just when does the subject of our desire to document, explore or expose become a victim of the process?

Direct download: Trust_Me_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am UTC

We may shoot with the best of intentions, but sometimes the people we film are left vulnerable or feel very aggrieved. Yet in this media-savvy age, where people willingly offer their lives, families, children, bodies and pets to be filmed, don't the public know just what to expect? This session probes case histories and experiences to examine what should be our moral "duty of care" towards those who have agreed to take part in our films. Just when does the subject of our desire to document, explore or expose become a victim of the process?

Direct download: Trust_Me_1.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:24am UTC

This is part 2 of a masterclass with Paul Watson from 2006, chaired by Alan Hayling.

Direct download: Paul_Watson_2.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:25pm UTC

Paul Watson's latest film is a searing, moving portrait of a hidden bit of Britain. But the film has a second purpose: it deconstructs the documentary-making decisions Paul has taken in the course of its making the film. In effect, the film is itself a documentary masterclass. In this session, Alan Hayling and Paul Watson look in detail at the scenes and characters Paul chose not to include in the film and the choices that finally shaped the completed documentary.

Direct download: Paul_Watson_1.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:41am UTC

The BBC's Director of Television Jana Bennett is one of the corporation's most senior executives. She's been there through the beginnings of the digital age and now looks after all the BBC's television channels. She's worked abroad running The Learning Channel of Discovery and even received an OBE for services to science broadcasting. So she's a very big wheel, but what doe she think about documentary? Well her background in news, current affairs and latterly science programmes really does, in documentary terms at least, make her one of us. Anyone who knows her willI'm sure acknowledge her sharp mind and quick-wittedness when it comes to whether films are any good. And if anyone has seen the future in terms of audience taste and interest, its most likely to have been Jana. So what works and what doesn't? Where's the most exciting new talent? And what is the future for British documentary on television and beyond? From October, Jana Bennett is the BBC's Director of Vision and delegates at Docfest have a chance to hear about her plans first at this not to be missed Friday Night BBC Interview.

Direct download: Jana_Bennett.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:30am UTC

What is the role of the documentary art form? How can filmmakers survive in warzones, when the 'dangerous' corners of the world are now everywhere? A free, open conversation, with illustrative clips and blogs. Recent civilian casualties in Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Iraq and elsewhere insist that we ask what docmakers, citizens and broadcasters can do to prevent war and visualise real/reel peace? Clips of new and old films will be screened to spark active discussion with panelists and audience.

Direct download: 10_Docs_Against_War.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 9:55am UTC

So you've made your documentary - now where to put it? Is anyone still paying out there? Amidst all the potential of digital distribution, are cinema and TV still important? Join a panel of feisty international distributors who will each offer a different perspective on the digital 'revolution' and expose what's solid and what's fluffy. Best of all, you'll learn not only how to get the world to see your documentary but how to get paid for it to.

Direct download: 09_Distribution.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:39pm UTC

In recent times PACT has successfully fought hard for changes in new media rights and new terms of trade. This panel unpacks the details of the deals and looks at the impact these changes have had on producers and documentary makers in the UK. In this changing production environment are the conditions going to continue to favour the super-indies or will the micro-companies also flourish alongside them? Is the answer to look to international funding and production partners? Will creating niche programming in a global market be the way forward? In the new media climate, is the playing field levelled or will the gap between the super-indie and the micro continue to grow? Should market-forces be allowed to sort it out for us? 

Direct download: Little_And_Large.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 2:29pm UTC

With films like 'Burma VJ' using footage from high street cameras and mobile phones, and the wealth of films and documentary initiatives arming people with cameras rather than guns, there seems to be a dawning of a new age of citizen journalism which can result in films and footage reaching a mass audience. This session looks at the way in which both citizens and local filmmakers around the world can contribute to documentarying issues that previously were left to the Western filmmakers. 

Direct download: 05_Citizen_Filmaking_Around_The_Wo.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:30pm UTC

The Channel 4 Interviewee for 2006 is Stephen Lambert, one of the iconic figures of modern British documentary - a lightning rod for praise and criticism alike. Few figures elicit such strong reactions. For some, he represents the selling of the soul of documentary to business. For others, he is the most inventive and creative figure working in documentaries over the past fifteen years. After Wife Swap first aired The Guardian wondered whether the ITC should simply switch off the Channel 4 transmitter and The Telegraph called it an "abuse of TV's Godlike power". At the same time his work has been lauded both in Britain and abroad "as truly groundbreaking" and showered with awards. Today Stephen Lambert is the Chief Creative Officer of the RDF Media Group where he has been responsible for Faking It and Wife Swap among many others. Before joining RDF, documentaries department, where he produced and directed many films for 40 Minutes and the Inside Story strand. He then became the Modern Times documentary strand, which he ran for four years. What cannot be denied is his central influence on the shape of the modern documentary on television - an influence which the Channel 4 interview will provide a unique opportunity to explore. 

Direct download: Stephen_Lambert.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:13pm UTC

This masterclass celebrates the work of brilliant cameraman Paul Otter. In a career of spectacular work on award-winning films like The House, The Last Peasants with Angus Macqueen; The Lost Boys and Pimp Snooky with Clive Gordon; Tsunami - Six Hours on Boxing Day and the film he is presently making with Kevin Sim, Paul has held on to the values of collaboration and complete immersion in the subject, which are of immense value to future filmmakers. He will take us on his journey helped along by examples of his work. 

Direct download: Who_Needs_A_Cameraman.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:36am UTC

The documentary genre is currently undergoing an intense period of scrutiny and reassessment. Damaged by accusations of fakery, charged with unfair manipulation and increasingly marginalised and subject to cutbacks, is it the end of the line for the genre? Once the pride of British television, have the channels and the public lost their appetite for documentaries? In an age of celebrity-smitten, format-crazed factual, who is commissiong them now? This year's Question Time tackles these and other key issues with a panel of leading documentary makers and commissioners.

Direct download: BBC_Q_Time_2007.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:37am UTC

The relationship between filmmaker and contribution is fundamental to the success or failure of all documentaries. But we rarely hear directly from the people who, for whatever reason, agree to appear in our films. This session allows some very different contributors, in the presence of their filmmakers, to talk about how it was for them. Alexis Arquette was filmed as she went through a sex change and at one point withdrew access. Gary was cast as a bigot in Joe Bullman's docu-drama 'The Seven Sins of England', while Monthy and Betty had their lives scrutinised in Mark Isaac's observational documentary 'All White in Barking'. Would they do it again if they had known what they know now?

Direct download: 13_How_Was_It_For_You.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:02pm UTC

Presenter-authored documentaries have been around for almost 40 years. At its core the genre tries to turn serious debate into informative entertainment by the power of the presenter's personality and on-screen presence. In this session we look at the current rise of celebrity and cultural commentator fronted documentaries. Is this new form of authorship just a trend that pulls in viewers or is it the savior of the dying television documentary?

Direct download: 14_Im_A_Celebrity.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 9:51am UTC

How vital to the DNA of modern television is the documentary? The BBC currently produces more factual programmes and documentaries than any other broadcaster in the world, yet Mark Thompson, the new Director General of the BBC, has cut budgets for indies and in-house alike and announced fifty per cent cuts in the BBC Documentary Department. So what does he think about the modern documentary? Mark Thompson will select those films that he thinks best illustrate television's changing relationship with the documentary form and reveal what they say to him and the present, the past and the future of the genre.

Direct download: 26_Mark_Thompson.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:45pm UTC

We are honoured that this year's Channel 4 Interview is with Michael Moore, the celebrated American film maker, Moore has applied his unconventional approach to documentary films since his famous debut Roger and Me. Stuart Cosgrove, head of Programmes, Nations and Regions, Channel4, discusses with him his past work, his creative approach to storytelling and his latest projects. 

Direct download: 17_Michael_Moore.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:12pm UTC

How far can you go before you’ve crossed the line, broken the code and made yourself the next poster-boy of TV fakery? In this interactive masterclass More4 chief Peter Dale and Channel 4's legal guru Prash Naik bring together a panel of producers and broadcasters to examine both clear-cut cases or wrong doing and the dilemmas from the grey area. With producers caricatured as reckless and broadcasters caricatured as arse-coveres we put both parties to the test. The masterclass will reveal lessons for all - production teams and commissioner alike. 

Direct download: 12_How_Far_Can_You_Go_Stolen_Doc.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:17am UTC

How far can you go before you’ve crossed the line, broken the code and made yourself the next poster-boy of TV fakery? In this interactive masterclass More4 chief Peter Dale and Channel 4's legal guru Prash Naik bring together a panel of producers and broadcasters to examine both clear-cut cases or wrong doing and the dilemmas from the grey area. With producers caricatured as reckless and broadcasters caricatured as arse-coveres we put both parties to the test. The masterclass will reveal lessons for all - production teams and commissioner alike. 

Direct download: 12_How_Far_Can_You_Go_Jos_Case.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:47pm UTC

How far can you go before you’ve crossed the line, broken the code and made yourself the next poster-boy of TV fakery? In this interactive masterclass More4 chief Peter Dale and Channel 4's legal guru Prash Naik bring together a panel of producers and broadcasters to examine both clear-cut cases or wrong doing and the dilemmas from the grey area. With producers caricatured as reckless and broadcasters caricatured as arse-coveres we put both parties to the test. The masterclass will reveal lessons for all - production teams and commissioner alike. 

Direct download: 12_How_Far_Can_You_Go_Emma_Cooper.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:39pm UTC

This year the battle for the future of digital distribution intensified. The founders of Pirate Bay were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement and sentenced to a year in jail. A Shooting People poll indicated that ordinary filmmakers were deeply divided. A third welcomed the verdict saying they would never download a pirated film, but 22% had no problems with piracy and 41% would do so in certain circumstances. In July, 7% of Swedish people voted for the Pirate Party in the European elections winning 2 seats reminding us that P2P sites are meeting the needs of a growing audience. if we cant beat them, can we join them to benefit both creators and audiences?

Direct download: 29_Pirates.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 2:41pm UTC

Not so long ago the arts were declared dead on TV. But has there been a resurgence? Or are broadcasters merely paying lip service to MPs, OFCOM and the press? What kind of arts films are being made? And what about films as art?

Direct download: 01_Art_On_Film.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:22pm UTC

Getting your film commissioned by a UK broadcaster is not the only way to be a documentary filmmaker (and earn a living from it!). From funds and foundations to DIY distribution, to the world of international co-production, this session looks at the more interesting options that are available in the UK and some of the lesser-known ways of getting funding from Europe and North America.

Direct download: 02_Beyond_Broadcast.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:53pm UTC

From Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, Vernon Florida, A Brief History of Time, Fast Cheap and Out of Control to Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A Leutcher, Jr. Errol Morris has continued to make some of the most controversial, influential and thought-provoking films in the documentary field. "Morris is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker capable of melding science, philosophy, poetry and sheer whimsy into an elaborate mediation on mankind's mysteries. His unique ability to get subjects to open up can be attributed to his genuine interest and concern. This coupled with extremely diverse interests results in his fidning something extraordinary in the ordinary". Janet Maslin, The New York Times. We are honoured that Errol Morris is returning to Sheffield to discuss his singular approach to film making.

Direct download: 11_Errol_Morris_Masterclass.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:03pm UTC

Documentary filmmakers struggle with licensing problems when they quote or even accidentally capture copyrighted or trademarked works in their films. How have filmmakers made the law friendlier to quation and what can others do to help themselves? Initiatives in the US, Canada and Europe are discussed.

Direct download: 06_Copyright.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:47pm UTC

In the wake of ten years of 'Storyville', including an Oscar, ninety nine other prizes, and BBC cuts, Nick Fraser looks at the current state of documentaries aka factual films that may or may not be shown on television, in cinemas or on the internet. "This is not a reterospective", he insists. "Our industry is full of self congratulatory events, and I have no desire to add to these. Instead, I look for a mixture of polemic and peer into the future". Nick Fraser is going to illustrate with clips of future 'Storyvilles'.

Direct download: 24_Shocks_And_Awesome.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 2:43pm UTC

Internationally acclaimed documentary maker Bob Connolly presents a fascinating session on his work and longstanding collaboration with Robin Anderson, who tragically passed away in March 2002. Using film clips as illustration, Connolly talks about making his compelling films with Anderson, including their momentous Papua New Guinea triology (First Contact, Joe Leahy's neighbours, Black Harvest), Rats in the Ranks and Facing the Music. Facing the Music was selected by guest curator Kim Longinotto for screening in this year's festival.

Direct download: 03_Bob_Connolly_Masterclass.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:46pm UTC

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