What it’s Really Like to be a Documentary Filmmaker

Written for FLARE‘s 9-5 series.

How did you get into documentary filmmaking? One of my professors at UBC, John Zaritsky, had won an Oscar for one of his documentaries, Just Another Missing Kid. I had always loved documentaries, but he was the one who really encouraged me to pursue it. He alerted me to the idea that documentary can be the soundest, and most powerful form of telling a specific story—and I’m glad that I listened to his advice.

Do you consider yourself a journalist or a filmmaker? A filmmaker, but I do think it’s important to adopt certain approaches that journalists take, like fact-checking. But, in journalism, you’re neutral and only reporting the facts. In documentary filmmaking, the primary objective for me is to tell the story, which can mean changing the chronology or the context. I’m always trying to go for the emotional truth of the film.

Read the full story here.

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