FLAGEY  7 nov  14:00

Round table

Despite preconceived ideas about documentaries, the cinema of reality requires specific writing procedures that reflect the diversity of its subject. How to write, or what style to use, for the cinema of realty ? The question of how to write for documentaries allows, first of all, to enter into the creative process, whether during preparation, production or editing, for the documentary makers. It also facilites the exchange and discussion within production houses and workshops. Beyond the content, the writing reveals elements of the form and the proposed treatment by the director.

Secondly, the economics of the documentary and the financing systems via commissions and television channels, need to face issues concerning the strategy to adopt as well as questions of efficiency and even of format, pushing the documentary makers towards standard format of their writing and as such towards a refusal of diversity. In the end do we give the directors enough time and freedom to write?

The idea behind this round table is to bring forward the differences of perception of writing forms between the different players of the documentary : the creators, the producers, the commissioners, the television channels and the public will discuss the issues of documentary writing today.

1. Writing within the creation of cinema of reality

To the documentary makers : what is the role of writing when it comes to the preparation of a documentary ? What are the writing styles for the cinema of reality ? What differentiates or resembles writing for fiction? How do you manage the creation of drama and how do you deal with the unforeseen…? What techniques can you adapt from fictional writing to documentary writing? Are these documents also a way of conveying a concrete element about the style of the documentary?

To the workshops/producers : what is the purpose of the workshops and the production houses in the process of writing ?

2. Directing and editing

Does writing continue during production? What is the purpose of the “script” when it comes to production and editing? Do written documents have a use during filming (for the camera man, sound crew, etc.) and for editing (when it comes to rhythm, voice off, etc.) ?

3. Funding : writing strategies?

To the documentary makers and the reception comittee : what documents should there be in a file ? What is a ‘good’ file ? Is there a lag between the documents that have to be in the file and the ones necessary for the production of the film ? Do commissions give enough time for writing (or do they accept different approaches) by asking for a “script for the documentary”? Are we in the end confronted with the obligation of putting in place ‘writing strategies’ that are efficient in convincing the funders? Should we not in the end adhere to a formatting or standardization system in order to please the funders?

To the funders (commissioners, television channels) : what do you ask of the documentary makers? Do the funders have specific expectations when it comes to these documents ?

Speakers : Laurent Van Lancker, Sébastien Andrès, Cyril Bibas, Véronique Pacco, Wilbur Lebegue, Yaël André, Manu Riche, Javier Packer-Comyn.

Moderated by Muriel Andrin.