95 – America to Steve James

America to Steve James

Steve James is one of the most recognizable names in documentary.  Many of us #doclifers have been inspired by his films and the way in which he makes them.  He was on TDL back on the eve of the Academy Awards for his doc, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.  Not surprisingly, Steve had some great insight into the industry and into doc filmmaking, as a whole. And he related much of this with candor and clarity that was appreciated by all of us doc filmmakers.

And so, on the weekend before the finale of his magnificent documentary series, America to Me, we thought it an appropriate time to reconnect with our brother-in-doc.

 

Among topics discussed:

  • why & how Steve maintains relationships with his subjects
  • his choice to recruit younger, diverse filmmakers to help him with the series
  • why he shows scenes to his film subject, believing that they have agency in how they are represented
  • how weekly meetings with school admin was necessary for filming the series
  • how & why America to Me was the most difficult undertaking of his film career

 

Related Sources

America to Me trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uNhmWJ4l5k

 

 

The Documentary Life Community Facebook Group

 

Want a great supportive doc filmmaking community to be a part of?  Consider the TDL Community facebook Group page!  It’s free and it’s a wonderfully connected group of like-minded individuals all working on their passion of doc filmmaking.

 

 

The Documentary Academy is Live!

Ready to conceive, fund, make and distribute your film?

 

https://youtu.be/ZKjvADNlVO4

 

The Documentary Academy is a set of immersive courses all complete with in-depth written content, instructional video tutorials, actionable worksheets, an archive of webinars from some of the industry’s best, and a full documentary resources platform.  It is comprised of full step-by-step Academy tracks for :

 

  • TDA Film Foundations Course
  • TDA Filmmaking Course
  • TDA Film Funding Course
  • TDA Film Distribution Course

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Sponsors & Thank Yous

 

Episode #90 is proudly brought to you by BlackBox Global, creators of the easiest way to turn your filmmaking skills into passive income!

 

 

If you have old hard drives with footage, a camera to shoot new footage, and a computer to edit the footage, you can use BlackBox to start generating passive income today!  It’s freedom, plain and simple.

 

Go to BlackBox, Create a Free Account, and start selling your footage today!

 

Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!

 

Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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