Documentary Film Statement of Fair Use

This is a must-have download!

Documentary filmmakers have created, through their professional associations, a clear, easy to understand statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use. Fair Use is the right, in some circumstances, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it. It is a crucial feature of copyright law. In fact, it is what keeps copyright from being censorship. You can invoke fair use when the value to the public of what you are saying outweighs the cost to the private owner of the copyright.

Click here to download this useful handbook, written by veteran filmmakers to help other filmmakers understand some instances where using copyrighted material without clearance is considered fair use.

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Sound is HARD

"Whichever method you use, you need to eliminate as much noise as possible from your location. Turn off all fans and air conditioners to reduce airflow. Close all doors and windows. Unplug the refrigerator (hint: leave your keys in the refrigerator so you remember to plug it back in when you’re done). Try and get the neighbors to turn off their radio. In short, it must be SILENT."

Be sure to check out all of the great posts on I Go To Film School So You Don't Have To.

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Intriguing Site: The Clapperboard

This is one filmmaking resource site that really intrigues me. It's design is very minimalistic with a white background and black text. The links are all contained within the paragraphs.

A new section of the website that is hidden away covers the topic of screen writing.

". . .I do know the film makers I admire all have one thing in common – they all got started by just writing a script, then begged, borrowed or stole a camera to shoot their film. Everyone has to start somewhere, and with the advent of affordable digital video, there has never been a better time to start learning the techniques of film making."

Explore this website and post any interesting finds in the comments section below.

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How long is a short?

I attended the Fearless Filmmakers Screening Event at The Oak Street Cinema last week and walked away with a lot of information to think about. During the Q&A session someone from the audience asked, "How long should a short be?" The answer to this question assumes we are talking about short films that will be uploaded to a video sharing site.

Melody Gilbert noted the explosion of shorts online. iTunes Music Store is currently selling Sundance short films on for $1.99.

"We are in the Wild West," according to Julie Rappaport of Smokin Yogi Films. Both the panel and I agree. There are no rules or conventions set in place. It's a great time to be a filmmaker.

Some might claim that 1-2 minute videos are best for the low attention span of an internet viewer. In all actuality, the sweet spot might be more around 6-7 minutes for a really great story that is shot and edited well.

Ryan Wood, of Fear of Girls fame, stated that pacing is more important than length.


It's all about pacing.

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Groundhog fails to see his shadow

Okay, so he didn't "fail" to see it. It just wasn't there.

"On February 2, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob - in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of winter."

"According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring."

". . .
On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?

On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way."

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