February 5, 2015
Sundance 2015

Bringing Kurosawa's Rashomon-Effect to Documentary Filmmaking in 'Being Evel'

In his new documentary about world famous daredevil Evel Knievel, Academy Award winner Daniel Junge employed an interesting strategy. Traveling to locations across the country, he sat down 60 different subjects in front of a green screen with four Blackmagic cameras at different angles for each of the 60 interviews. Why? How? What was that work flow like?

We caught up with Daniel on the eve of the premiere of Being Evel at Sundance to talk about his film, and how he used a Rashomon-inspired approach to different perspectives on history in order to create a documentary experience of Knievel unlike any other.

Thank you, Daniel!

What do you think of Daniel's technique? Are you looking forward to Being Evel    

Your Comment

14 Comments

If you guys need help with color grading, I'm happy to volunteer.

February 5, 2015 at 3:32PM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
546

I wouldn't stop you. We all have a different set of skills, mine doesn't include color -- yet. I am finding out a lot about people's opinions about the log look though…

February 5, 2015 at 11:41PM, Edited February 5, 11:41PM

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Oakley Anderson-Moore
Writer
Director/Shooter/Editor

This took 1 click in FCPX to fix.
https://vimeo.com/118919502
Under the info tab, then settings, choose "Sony S-Log3. The young lady is pretty overexposed, but the interview doesn't look too bad. Just 1 click.

February 6, 2015 at 10:28AM

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Scot Yount
Director/Editor/Photographer/Motion Graphic Artist
343

Just so you know, I'm truly interested in helping -- it's not an attack. We're all at vastly different places in our careers. If you ever need someone to collaborate with, I'm truly happy to help.

February 9, 2015 at 1:52PM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
546

Not an attack here either. Just demonstrating what can be done with one click in FCPX.

February 9, 2015 at 2:54PM, Edited February 9, 2:54PM

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Scot Yount
Director/Editor/Photographer/Motion Graphic Artist
343

Haven't seen the movie. Question: is this an illustration of the Rashomon effect (which I thought had to do with bearing witness to an occurrence and telling a self serving story about it) or more so bearing out the gimmick of plot of Citizen Kane? Where seemingly contradictory accounts are given concerning the subject by different persons, the sum of which amounts to a compelling portrait. Or maybe I'm missing something?

February 5, 2015 at 3:51PM

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Daniel Thoen
ne'er-do-well
366

The Rashomon effect is referring to the phenomenon of witnesses bearing multiple versions of the truth -- journalists started using the term after the Kurosawa film came out. You'll have to see "Being Evel" I'd really be interested to know what you think about the intended effect! Personally, I'd love to see more documentaries playing with the relative nature of experiencing historical events as an integral part of the storytelling.

February 5, 2015 at 11:42PM

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Oakley Anderson-Moore
Writer
Director/Shooter/Editor

Definitely interested in seeing this, seems like it has some potential to be very good. Was Evel Kanyevel one of the 60 interviewed?

February 7, 2015 at 1:14AM

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Daniel Thoen
ne'er-do-well
366

This interview appears to have been shot and exported in Sony s-log. Interesting "choice."

February 5, 2015 at 4:30PM

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Derek Olson
Directomatographeditor
664

So I have had this argument elsewhere. Some folks think the log look is a creative choice. I say it's a mistake and annoying.

Robert A. Ober

February 5, 2015 at 6:12PM

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Robert, do you find people using it because of the ease of leaving it that way, or because they genuinely like the look? As you can see from Daniel's breath, it was a cold winter day, so I personally think the feeling isn't far off. But I can respect that there are plenty of more creative ways to go.

February 5, 2015 at 11:41PM

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Oakley Anderson-Moore
Writer
Director/Shooter/Editor

Kurosawa's use of characters' subjective accounts was a story-telling device--which he borrowed whole from the original book by Akutagawa--and it's centuries old. How can anyone comment on this Daniel Junge's "technique" if we don't see any of it? This is an interview. Talking about visual art is like eating a symphony.

February 5, 2015 at 11:48PM

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Bob Byars
259

Yeah, would have increased my understanding of what he's talking about a gazillion percent to be able to see it. Even a trailer would have helped.

February 19, 2015 at 6:14PM

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Chuck Dotson
Director, Designer, Thinker, and Trouble Maker
89

Though, to be fair I've been looking for any finished footage from the doc and have come up snake eyes so far.

February 19, 2015 at 6:28PM

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Chuck Dotson
Director, Designer, Thinker, and Trouble Maker
89