My first feature documentary film

Brian

New member
I started filming six Bigfoot researchers a year ago out in the forest. I started out using a Canon HF R600 and a GoPro, then I purchased a Canon G60 mid summer. I had two terabytes of video by November and finally started post production...
Now I needed to find the story.
I spent a month watching all of the video, transcribing the dialogue, and making notes on the best shots to use. I then decided that since the biggest evidence was found early on that I needed to show the story by subject matter rather than actual sequence of events, so I color coded the dialogue in notes to make each subject dialogue easy to find.
Editing in a new unfamiliar program; Davinci Resolve: To make it easier I divided the 90 minute film into 16 chapters (timelines), and placed 16 3x5 cards on the wall in a circle like a story wheel. I wrote the subjects on them, the events, the montages, etc. and tried to arrange them in a order that placed things of interest on plot points (big event, all is lost, and the big discovery at the third mark).
I joined Artlist.IO and got some killer music for the film. I’ve learned that sound design is just as important as visual design - I set the pace to be stimulating in visual and sound, balanced out with interviews.
The film will be released in June.
Here is the trailer :

 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
You had a lot of work to do and I can see this only by watching the trailer. This was quite an adventure :) Where can we see the full documentary when it is released?
 

Brian

New member
We are going to try Amazon Prime even though they say they aren’t taking documentaries. Also we are using FilmHub to get it out to streaming platforms. I thought about having a few DVDs made, but still searching for other ways to get it out there.
suggestions are welcome!
 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
We are going to try Amazon Prime even though they say they aren’t taking documentaries. Also we are using FilmHub to get it out to streaming platforms. I thought about having a few DVDs made, but still searching for other ways to get it out there.
suggestions are welcome!
Good luck! :D I hope you will be successful with Amazon Prime.
 

jodymichelle

Senior Member
Staff member
Wow would love to hear more about your editing process and how you created/edited your stories by subject matter for chapters. :)(y)
 

Brian

New member
Hi everyone,
Thank you for your interest on this thread.
My film Sullivan Creek Sasquatch is out on Vimeo for streaming:
and is also now available on DVD and can be purchased here:
https://extremeexpeditionsnorthwest.com/order-sullivan-creek-sasquatch-on-dvd-today/
(The Streaming is a better quality than the DVD.)
I am currently helping the investor/producer get it on Amazon VOD and will be submitting it to FilmHub later this month.

I learned SO MUCH making and editing this film! The good and the bad. It's been a joy and a nightmare all together. I made lots of mistakes in the process and learned from them for next time.

Okay, so a few lessons learned:
At the last minute the producer got worried about being sued because of all the stories out there of filmmakers like the Napoleon Dynamite fiasco, which meant I had to blur out all logos people were wearing on hats, shirts and of course I had to blur out license plates. If we couldn't get permission from someone - we had to cut it out of the film; which led to endless revisions. He made me cut out all the grateful "Thank you's" to anyone who supported me/us indirectly because he said if the film is successful - they could come back later and sue him.
LESSONS LEARNED:
1. Always get a Model/Actor release for anyone in the film ( even in the background ). You will need it because the streaming services and distributers require it.
2. If any cars in the shots with real license plates - cover them with fake ones or just cover them black.
3. Refuse to shoot anyone with hats, shirts, jackets, Etc. with logos on them. This is pretty controlled in a regular film set, but on a documentary things are pretty loose. You have to be the person who lets everyone in the documentary know ahead of time what the dress code is for filming.

We all think of a T-Shirt with a logo on it in a film as FREE advertising for them, but it's not that way. If they think you made big money - they will sue the filmmaker to get their share. Even if you didn't make money they can take your future royalties. So blur out or cover up any logos that you or a person in the film doesn't directly have copyrights to. Otherwise it's a POST Production nightmare. For YouTube videos - I don't even worry about this crap, but so much is invested in a feature film, you just gotta be aware and careful.

One of the researchers on camera held up a Herseys chocolate bar and said "Bigfoot likes Hershey's Chocolate". The way he did it was funny as heck and the producer and myself tried to keep it in the film, but Hershey's wouldn't respond with a "Okay" for the clip, so we had to cut it out of the film knowing we could get sued over it.

4. When run and gun filming with an external mic on your camera: Always keep your camera and mic pointed at the talking head. When they point off to another location and want you to point the camera that way to see what they are pointing at - DON'T DO IT. Keep your Audio Mic pointed at them until they stop talking, and then Get a B-Roll shot of it later so that you have good audio. This was hard to fix and caused me so much trouble in editing.

5. On a documentary - shoot way more footage than you need. The main characters are a must, but get the wide shots, the close-ups, and lots of B-Roll with both. You can never have too much in editing - options are great!

Also, since most of the filming was by a noisy creek; it was hard to hear the guys talking. I had to be right in their face to make sure I got good audio and it was still hard to EQ in the edit. A crew member doing audio with a boom pole would have been a better option, but I didn't have that luxury.

I will share more later when the dust finally settles,

Brian Marshall White
on YouTube: Creative Flow Explorer
 

Brian

New member
It won't let me watch it, why is it set to private?
It is a rent or buy video. Vimeo links are weird. Try going to Vimeo and doing a search for Sullivan Creek Sasquatch. I had to do it that way because the link I was given didn’t work right sometimes.
Thank you.
 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Hi everyone,
Thank you for your interest on this thread.
My film Sullivan Creek Sasquatch is out on Vimeo for streaming:
and is also now available on DVD and can be purchased here:
https://extremeexpeditionsnorthwest.com/order-sullivan-creek-sasquatch-on-dvd-today/
(The Streaming is a better quality than the DVD.)
I am currently helping the investor/producer get it on Amazon VOD and will be submitting it to FilmHub later this month.

I learned SO MUCH making and editing this film! The good and the bad. It's been a joy and a nightmare all together. I made lots of mistakes in the process and learned from them for next time.

Okay, so a few lessons learned:
At the last minute the producer got worried about being sued because of all the stories out there of filmmakers like the Napoleon Dynamite fiasco, which meant I had to blur out all logos people were wearing on hats, shirts and of course I had to blur out license plates. If we couldn't get permission from someone - we had to cut it out of the film; which led to endless revisions. He made me cut out all the grateful "Thank you's" to anyone who supported me/us indirectly because he said if the film is successful - they could come back later and sue him.
LESSONS LEARNED:
1. Always get a Model/Actor release for anyone in the film ( even in the background ). You will need it because the streaming services and distributers require it.
2. If any cars in the shots with real license plates - cover them with fake ones or just cover them black.
3. Refuse to shoot anyone with hats, shirts, jackets, Etc. with logos on them. This is pretty controlled in a regular film set, but on a documentary things are pretty loose. You have to be the person who lets everyone in the documentary know ahead of time what the dress code is for filming.

We all think of a T-Shirt with a logo on it in a film as FREE advertising for them, but it's not that way. If they think you made big money - they will sue the filmmaker to get their share. Even if you didn't make money they can take your future royalties. So blur out or cover up any logos that you or a person in the film doesn't directly have copyrights to. Otherwise it's a POST Production nightmare. For YouTube videos - I don't even worry about this crap, but so much is invested in a feature film, you just gotta be aware and careful.

One of the researchers on camera held up a Herseys chocolate bar and said "Bigfoot likes Hershey's Chocolate". The way he did it was funny as heck and the producer and myself tried to keep it in the film, but Hershey's wouldn't respond with a "Okay" for the clip, so we had to cut it out of the film knowing we could get sued over it.

4. When run and gun filming with an external mic on your camera: Always keep your camera and mic pointed at the talking head. When they point off to another location and want you to point the camera that way to see what they are pointing at - DON'T DO IT. Keep your Audio Mic pointed at them until they stop talking, and then Get a B-Roll shot of it later so that you have good audio. This was hard to fix and caused me so much trouble in editing.

5. On a documentary - shoot way more footage than you need. The main characters are a must, but get the wide shots, the close-ups, and lots of B-Roll with both. You can never have too much in editing - options are great!

Also, since most of the filming was by a noisy creek; it was hard to hear the guys talking. I had to be right in their face to make sure I got good audio and it was still hard to EQ in the edit. A crew member doing audio with a boom pole would have been a better option, but I didn't have that luxury.

I will share more later when the dust finally settles,

Brian Marshall White
on YouTube: Creative Flow Explorer
This is great news! :D I went to Vimeo to see the video. The problem is the purchase link is not working. Just thought you wish to know this.
1627283691161.png
 

István Kovács

New member
Hi everyone,
Thank you for your interest on this thread.
My film Sullivan Creek Sasquatch is out on Vimeo for streaming:
and is also now available on DVD and can be purchased here:
https://extremeexpeditionsnorthwest.com/order-sullivan-creek-sasquatch-on-dvd-today/
(The Streaming is a better quality than the DVD.)
I am currently helping the investor/producer get it on Amazon VOD and will be submitting it to FilmHub later this month.

I learned SO MUCH making and editing this film! The good and the bad. It's been a joy and a nightmare all together. I made lots of mistakes in the process and learned from them for next time.

Okay, so a few lessons learned:
At the last minute the producer got worried about being sued because of all the stories out there of filmmakers like the Napoleon Dynamite fiasco, which meant I had to blur out all logos people were wearing on hats, shirts and of course I had to blur out license plates. If we couldn't get permission from someone - we had to cut it out of the film; which led to endless revisions. He made me cut out all the grateful "Thank you's" to anyone who supported me/us indirectly because he said if the film is successful - they could come back later and sue him.
LESSONS LEARNED:
1. Always get a Model/Actor release for anyone in the film ( even in the background ). You will need it because the streaming services and distributers require it.
2. If any cars in the shots with real license plates - cover them with fake ones or just cover them black.
3. Refuse to shoot anyone with hats, shirts, jackets, Etc. with logos on them. This is pretty controlled in a regular film set, but on a documentary things are pretty loose. You have to be the person who lets everyone in the documentary know ahead of time what the dress code is for filming.

We all think of a T-Shirt with a logo on it in a film as FREE advertising for them, but it's not that way. If they think you made big money - they will sue the filmmaker to get their share. Even if you didn't make money they can take your future royalties. So blur out or cover up any logos that you or a person in the film doesn't directly have copyrights to. Otherwise it's a POST Production nightmare. For YouTube videos - I don't even worry about this crap, but so much is invested in a feature film, you just gotta be aware and careful.

One of the researchers on camera held up a Herseys chocolate bar and said "Bigfoot likes Hershey's Chocolate". The way he did it was funny as heck and the producer and myself tried to keep it in the film, but Hershey's wouldn't respond with a "Okay" for the clip, so we had to cut it out of the film knowing we could get sued over it.

4. When run and gun filming with an external mic on your camera: Always keep your camera and mic pointed at the talking head. When they point off to another location and want you to point the camera that way to see what they are pointing at - DON'T DO IT. Keep your Audio Mic pointed at them until they stop talking, and then Get a B-Roll shot of it later so that you have good audio. This was hard to fix and caused me so much trouble in editing.

5. On a documentary - shoot way more footage than you need. The main characters are a must, but get the wide shots, the close-ups, and lots of B-Roll with both. You can never have too much in editing - options are great!

Also, since most of the filming was by a noisy creek; it was hard to hear the guys talking. I had to be right in their face to make sure I got good audio and it was still hard to EQ in the edit. A crew member doing audio with a boom pole would have been a better option, but I didn't have that luxury.

I will share more later when the dust finally settles,

Brian Marshall White
on YouTube: Creative Flow Explorer
Working on a film is one of the most challenging adventures I have ever embarked on! And once the film is done, the second adventure begins: distribution! Making it available and reachable for as many people as possible!
Congratulations for your journey and I wish you good luck in distributing it to as many platforms as you can!
 
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