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74. Watch a Documentary

74. Watch a Documentary

We’re entering an exciting new cycle, one where you spend a lot less time listening to me ramble and a lot more time going out into the field and playing with stories. You know, we’ve been together for a long time and before you leave for a bit I just wanted to tell you how proud I really am.

OK, now let’s get back down to business.

For this segment, I want you to go out and find a documentary. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, who it’s by or whether it’s good. What is important is that you watch it all the way through and get a feeling for how it was put together. Look for narrative hooks and storytelling structure. Try to find how they dealt with characterization, and see how they used perspective. A documentary is a treasure trove for storytellers, find one and start looking inside.

Even if you watch nothing but documentaries I want you to sit down and watch another one, keeping storytelling elements in mind.

Not sure what to watch? Well, here are a few suggestions: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Maxed Out, American Zombie and Jesus Camp. Not sold, follow the bouncing link to this list of ten other documentaries worth seeing.

There are dozens more that are worth seeing, what would you suggest?

P.S. We’re doing a 93 entirely on Zombies this month, you owe it to yourself to hop over and see it.

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