Since then, I've cut several feature docs, the most widely acclaimed have been "Torn From the Flag", executive produced by Vilmos Zsigmond, and shot by Lazlo Kovacs, about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution (you can see the Hollywood Reporter review and others at my website, http://www.stephaniehubbard.com/)
and "Incest-A Family Tragedy", also a multiple award winning film. The first award it won was for Best Documentary at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Okay, now, here's what I want to talk about:
Too many people come into my office wanting to cut their material into feature length docs.
Some people SHOULD go feature length, but it's my humble opinion that more folks would do well to CONSIDER other lengths or forms. What about 5 half hours, or a pair of 45 minute shows, or one - one hour?
According to the senior editor for both "Bowling for Columbine" and "Farenheit 9/11": (and I'm paraphrasing here) "One hour is the way to go for HBO & PBS, and pretty much any one else who might broadcast it." In fact, 44 minutes is the length you'll need to cut to for most cablers that include commercials, 22 minutes for a half hour spot.
Now think about this: How many more folks are going to see your film on television than in festivals - or even in theater? A lot more. And even those that get a feature release, often have to cut down when they do get broadcast.
I know everyone wants to be making a feature film, but it is my opinion, that unless there is a very good reason to go feature length, you have everything to gain by considering shorter form.
Just the opinion of this Documentary Insider.
Coming up: Ten Rules of Documentary Film Editing.
Thanks for reading!
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