October 14, 2018 at 1:23AM

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Documentary Filmmaking - Best approach for actors

Hi there,

Thanks in advance for your interest and help. I've just stumbled upon an idea for a documentary. Now, I have no idea in producing/shooting them. I'm a wedding videographer and therefore there are many aspects of filmmaking with which I'm not familiar. A lot of practices and concerns one has when shooting a documentary or fiction film don't really appear when shooting a documentary.

When I take up a wedding, I sign a contract what details what I deliver, delivering conditions, etc. What's the best practice towards documentaries when the main characters have agreed to cooperate with you to shoot a film about them? Is it a model release? or something more detailed and comprehensive protecting you in case, for example, they change their mind midway through the shooting after so much investment in time and logistics.

Can anyone know how this works?

Also, I have the idea (but again, I don't really know the film industry) documentaries are supposed to be either self paying (if they are successful and one manages to sell it on) or they get a grant from someone (like the government/foundation/individual) or from your own pocket. Is there any case where it's advisable for someone else (in particular the subject) to bear some of the costs?

A lot of these questions might be dumb, but they only reflect my lack of knowledge.

Kind regards,

Pedro Portela

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