Cinema, today, is one of the most widely fabricated, as well as consumed form of art. More often than not, cinema is considered to consist of only fictional motion pictures. But the word ‘cinema’, derived from ‘cinematography’, clearly refers to filmmaking, or rather, the art of filmmaking. Documentaries, because of their non-fictional nature, are often disregarded as works of art. But what everyone fails to realize is, that the process of creating a documentary is more or less similar to creating a motion picture. Of course documentaries don’t always make it to the movie theatres like motion pictures do, and don’t enjoy as wide an audience, but their importance stands intact, especially for people looking to make their career in the film industry. It’s true that filmmaking is gradually becoming more of a commercial business and less of an art, but fresh minds truly passionate about filmmaking can always make a difference with the right guidance. WLCI College is one of the best colleges to offer short term media courses in Delhi, and mass communication courses in India, designed to help the youth of today to become the cinematic visionaries of tomorrow. Following is a list of all the documentaries that aspiring filmmakers must watch and learn from.
Directed by Christopher Kenneally, and produced by Justin Szlasa and renowned Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves, Side by Side is a documentary scrutinizing the process and the history of both the digital, and the photochemical creation of film. The documentary features interviews with pioneers of film direction such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, and with cinematographers like Michael Chapman, who discuss about the achievements of filmmakers as artists in creating both photochemical films and digital movies, and how their experiments in the field have taken filmmaking to new, exciting levels.
2. Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary (2008)
Now this one is a documentary film about documentary filmmaking itself. Directed by Pepita Ferrari and produced by the National Film Board of Canada, Capturing Reality is about the creative mechanisms of more than 30 documentary filmmakers including Nick Boomfield, Jessica Yu, and Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. The film features interviews conducted with the directors, as well as a few excerpts from their documentaries.
3. Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992)
This documentary feature was directed by Todd McCarthy, Stuart Samuels, and Arnold Glassman, and focuses on, as the name suggests, the art of cinematography. The film features interviews with some of the best cinematographers back in the day like Michael Chapman, Conrad Hall, Néstor Almendros, and a few others, who talk about some of their favorite films and specific scenes from therein which inspired them to pursue direction of photography
4. Great Directors (2009)
In this documentary, Angela Ismailos, the writer and the director of the film, interviews many famous art directors such as David Lynch, Bernardo Betolucci, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes, among many other well known directors like Stephen Frears, Agnès Varda, Ken Loach, Liliana Cavani, Catherine Breillat, and John Sayles. Great Directors in itself isn’t an excellent watch per se, but the insights provided by the rather strange lineup of directors are of a lot more value than one would realize.
5. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004)
Filmmaker Wendy Apple directed this documentary to not only showcase some of the best editing techniques used in motion pictures but to also celebrate them. The documentary features clips from avant-garde films that harbor some of the best editing techniques to have existed in the world of cinema. Narrated by veteran actor Kathy Bates, the documentary includes other iconic Hollywood personalities like Quentin Tarantino, Jodie Foster, James Cameron, Sean Penn, Thelma Schoonmaker, and many others, talking about their favorite editing techniques.