Episode 109

Published on:

12th Jul 2019

Make Great Documentaries From Where You Are with Billy Corben

How many times have you been approached by a friend or family member with another “great idea for a documentary”, when they find out that you’re a doc filmmaker? Well, if you’re anything like Miami doc filmmaker, Billy Corben – director behind such docs as Cocaine Cowboys, ESPN 30 for 30’s The U, and now his latest, Screwball – it’s practically an everyday experience. Which is why he’s come up with a great three step for sussing out the viability of said great idea for a doc.

Topics Discussed

  • how screenwriting classes were the best filmmaking classes for all aspects of filmmaking, including editing, shooting, and directing
  • Billy Corben’s three-step process called R.A.S. for determining viability of a potential doc project
  • how a bogus and manipulative meeting with baseball great, Alex Rodriguez, resulted in their latest doc, Screwball
  • Billy Corben’s Hustling 101 for the independent doc filmmaker
  • the conscious decision to make movies and tell the unique stories of their hometown, Miami, Florida


Additional Resources

Trailer for Screwball


Chris in Cambodia Series

In Chris in Cambodia, TDL host and doc filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst shares some of his stories and lessons from his most recent trip filming in Cambodia, working on he and his wife, Steph’s, current documentary, Elvis of Cambodia.

In Part Nine, the last of our nine part series, Chris, discusses the importance of making partnerships and strategic relationships should be a significant part of your documentary filmmaking.


Sponsors & Thank Yous

Thank you to music licensing platform, Music Vine for their fresh and diverse music and for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.

If you need any music for your doc project, we can honestly recommend Music Vine.

Want 20% off of your first music licensing purchase?  No licensing restrictions or number of tracks! Simply use promo code MYDOCLIFE at checkout!



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About the Podcast

The Documentary Life
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.
Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

About your host

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Christopher Parkhurst