In ‘Mastering Your Craft: Casting Case Studies’ documentary makers Rohan Spong, Rachel Boynton and Marshall Curry discuss their personal process of documentary making and the ethical problems that often arise.Watching this after conducting our own interview with Ariel was interesting, as I could relate their points and experiences to my own.

Rachel Boynton speaks particularly about her shooting rules and how she works with her documentary subjects. She has a few rules which she says she will always personally follow:

  1. Always turn off the camera if people ask her to (no secret filming)
  2. She tries to show the films subjects the final product before the public sees it. She listens to their feedback but doesn’t promise to apply it.
  3. She always tries to find the thing that is worth loving in her subject and to be non-judgemental

I’m not too sure what I think about the first rule. Part of me thinks that if someone agrees to be filmed then that’s it and they can’t ask me to stop but I also think that if I were in that situation I wouldn’t want to disrespect or upset the person. Unless they were a horrible person and I was uncovering some big controversy. So I suppose it really depends on the type of documentary film being made.

They also speak about how they initially get their ideas and approach the topic. I can see myself leaning towards Rohan’s direction of seeing where a story takes me rather than entering with a specific idea like Rachel. If this semester had have been longer and we had a little more time to spend with our subjects I would have loved to have gotten to know Ariel a little more and find out what’s underneath the cool Coogi Man exterior.

DOC NYC PRO: Mastering Your Craft: Casting Case Studies at DOC NYC 2016, video recording, DOC NYC, Manhattan, New York


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