short documentary

Short Time-Lapse Documentary Covers Tumultous Year in Filmmaker's Life

Filmmaker Simon Graham documented a year in his life by taking daily first-person time-lapses on his smartphone and editing them together into the short documentary "Val." The name of the documentary celebrates both his mother--whom he lost during his year of filming--and his son--who was born in the same year. The forward tracking shot that's visible in each scene gives the film a unique momentum.

He writes of the video, "Starting as a sort of travel/visual diary animation, the film took a big transformation. it turned out a completely different proposition altogether, covering huge milestones in my life beyond any of my expectations."

Watch below. (via The Creators Project)

New Short Documentary Looks at Piracy for Cinephiles

The short documentary "Bootleg Cinema Paradiso," sheds a different light on piracy. It looks at two popular bootleggers in Lima, Peru whose DVD store provides Peruvians access to independent and classic films they might not otherwise get a chance to see.

"Good cinema is culture but really all kinds of knowledge is good and it's important to have access to knowledge," one of them says. 'Pasaie 18' specializes in doing that."

Watch below. (via Indiewire)

Director Edgar Barens on Going to Prison to Film His Oscar-Nominated Short Documentary

Indiewire talks to director Edgar Barens about the unusual lengths he went to in order to film his Oscar-nominated short documentary, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall. Barens spens six months in a maximum security prison to tell the story of its hospice program.

He says, "Most people want to get out of prison, but I couldn't wait to get in...I pinched myself every day when I knew I was going into a maximum security prison. It was good too good to be true."

The film debuts on HBO on March 31st. Read the full story here.

Shooting a Documentary on the Digital Bolex

Peter J. Haas and Keif Roberts have put out one of the first completed projects shot with a Digital Bolex D16, short documentary "Peter Pan Bakery."

Haas writes about his experiences with the camera on RedShark News, writing, "The uninterruptible daily hustle and bustle combined with the very limited space we had available at the bakery provided a particular challenge.  It was unlikely that we would be able to use any conventional camera, tripod or lighting setups.  The D16 ended up being a perfect match for this scenario for several reasons. The form factor alone allowed for hand-held shooting without the use of any rigs.  It was a bit of a rocky start as my body got adjusted but I quickly became very happy with how little space I took up operating camera."

'Made By Hand' Releases Latest Short Documentary 'The Bike Maker'

"The Bike Maker" is the fifth installment in the documentary web series Made By Hand. The touching short focuses on Ezra Caldwell who, in addition to building cutstom steel bicycles, is also a cancer patient and amateur photographer.

The film is directed by Keith Ehrlich. Watch below. (via Creative Review)

Watch a Short Documentary About the Rise of Social TV

Andre-Pierre du Plessis' 40-minute documentary "Day 1: A Social TV Documentary" explores the rise of Internet video viewing and social TV, especially in the world of 24-hour broadcast news.

Watch it below.

Watch a Fascinating Short Documentary About the History of Opening Titles

Watch the short documentary "The Film Before the Film" which tells the history of opening titles. The short was made by Nora Toes and Damian Perez as part of a research project. The video documents how opening credit sequences went from the perfunctory to the sublime and came into an artform all their own.

Watch below.

Watch a Beautiful Short Documentary Shot and Edited in 4K

Logan Kelsey shot and edited the below short documentary in 4K with the RED Scarlet and Final Cut Pro X. Explains Kelsey, "My RED workflow for short-form projects (in the up to 5min range) is a direct shoot-to-edit workflow using the native RED media. I don't have a RED Rocket card and I've already completed about six 4k projects using this method - the results are brilliant. For long-form pieces, or when you are not connect to an external Raid, I would recommend using proxy media. I'm using an UltraStudio Mini Monitor and I get a nice 4k to 1920×1080 down-convert to my Panasonic HD broadcast monitor."

Watch the Ross Brothers' Super Bowl Tribute to New Orleans

The Ross brothers created the 4-minute NFL Game Day short all about Super Bowl host city New Orleans. The film stars baker and Beasts of the Southern Wild star Dwight Henry, who explains how New Orleans recovered after Katrina. "The thing about New Orleans people, we're always facing some of the worst circumstances in the world and we always seem to bounce back," he says.

Watch it here.

ESPN Films Takes on a Series of Short Sports Documentaries for Grantland Website

ESPN has spun off its 30 for 30 documentary series into 30 for 30: Shorts, an online exclusive series for Grantland that makes short sports documentaries accessible to the public. Its latest episode is "Ali: The Mission" which recounts the little-known story of Muhammad Ali negotiating the release of 15 hostages in Iraq in the leadup to the first Gulf war.

Says Connor Schell, vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films, "30 for 30 created a branded destination for quality storytelling. With 30 for 30: Shorts we aspire to do the same thing in a different format...It’s a way of telling a story on a subject that deserves 15 minutes and takes two months to make instead of 50 or 100 minutes and takes eight or nine months to make.”

A Hot Air Balloon Over Myanmar Creates a Thing of Beauty

Patrik Wallner shot most of this gorgeous travelogue from a hot air balloon over Burma, capturing the beauty of both a culture and light itself. See more of his travel video work (often involving skateboarders) on his site (via The Atlantic)

Rick Rubin: Nature is What All Art Aspires to Be

Filmmaker Alison Chernik presents this short portrait of music uber-producer Rick Rubin who contemplates his spirituality and philosophies on life and music. Says the meditative Rubin, "The power of nature is such that it's what all art strives to be."

Watch below and read more here on NOWNESS.

Rick Rubin: Music and Spirituality on

Watch Philip Bloom's Short Documentary Shot with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Philip Bloom's short documentary "Ponte Tower" tells the incredible riches to rags story of an iconic building in Johannesburg. Bloom used the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to shoot the whole film. He writes, "Why the Blackmagic camera? After all, I had access to lots of cameras here...The smart choice to be utterly frank would have been to take the C300.

Diane Arbus in Her Own Words in Short 1972 Documentary

This short documentary on Diane Arbus made in 1972, a year after her death, features interviews with some of the people who knew her best including her daughter, teacher and colleagues along with a voiceover featuring some of Arbus's own words. "Going Where I've Never Been: The Photography of Diane Arbus" provides a complicated portrait of the photographer, who by all accounts was a complex artist who continues to elicit strong reactions to her work.

Short Documentary About 'The Big Lebowski''s Real-Life Dude Now Available to View Online

The fascinating history of the affable Jeff Dowd, a.k.a. the real-life inspiration behind The Big Lebowski's The Dude, is told in the below short documentary made last year by Jeff Feuerzeig. Fom an apropos reclined position, the Dude tells the story of how he went from an infamous teenage protester to an early proponent of indie films to the man behind one of cinema's most enduring cult characters.

Watch it below.

Dedication and Inspiration: Inside Eddie Schmidt's Documentary 'Good Bread'

Alison Klayman's Short Documentary: 'Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei?'

Before Alison Klayman helmed the feature-length Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, she made the short documentary "Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei" for PBS' Frontline. Says Ai in the film, "My political involvement is very personal. If you don’t speak out, if you don’t clear your mind, then who are you?”

Director Eddie Schmidt on Packing Substance Into 3-Minute Documentary 'Good Bread'

Director Eddie Schmidt's uplifting 3-minute documentary "Good Bread" focuses on an unusual rehabilitation project that hires ex-cons to work at a bread shop in L.A.

Says Schmidt about making such a short piece with substance, "The trick - and I think we did it - was that I wanted the piece to both feel like it was tightly paced and yet have time to breathe. It's about people so you don't want it to be rushed; you want to feel something."

Short Documentary Provides Inspiration for the Professional Creative in Four Acts

Filmmaker Ron Dawson turned an audio mishap into a short documentary. Inspired by a lecture from Chick-Fil-A's Dwain Cox given at the free monthly Creative Mornings lecture series, Dawson created "Sweet Spots & Racing Saddles: Inspiration for the Professional Creative in Four Acts."

He writes, "I hope the film and the story behind the film inspire you in whatever field you practice. Listen to Dwain’s advice. As he says in the video, even if just ONE of his insights resonate with you, do it."

Short Documentary 'Augmented Reality' Explains Rise of Projection Mapping

The short documentary "Augmented Reality" explains the concept of projection mapping and documents some of the myriad ways it has made its way into the world of art, advertising, live events and more.

The film was directed by Dane Luttik. Watch below. (via PSFK)

Documentarian Ken Burns on Story and Manipulation

The cameras have turned on famed documentarian Ken Burns in this short 5-minute documentary in which Burns reveals his thoughts on storytelling. He says, "All story is manipulation. Is there acceptable manipulation? You bet. People say 'Oh boy, I was so moved to tears in your film.' That's a good thing. I manipulated that. That's part of storytelling. I didn't do it disgenuinely, I did it sincerely. I am moved by that too. That's manipulation."

Short Documentary: 'A Brief History of John Baldessari'

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the two guys behind Catfish, bring us this short, subversively comedic documentary about artist John Baldessari, who claims he will best be remembered for putting dots on people's faces.

Says Short of the Week of the film, "Playful, provocative, down to earth and surreal, this film prods at the notion that art is solely for critics, academics, and other artists. Art, in Baldessari’s world, speaks to everyone."

Memes are People Too: The Viral Video Stars of ROFLCon

In this short documentary, The Atlantic visits ROFLCon, a two-day conference centering on Internet culture and viral videos. Ready to meet the "double rainbow guy," Antoine Dodson, David "After Dentist" Devore and more. The Atlantic says, "We discovered that even though their lives have been turned upside down, and in some cases totally transformed, by Internet fame, [viral video stars are] people too. They're pretty awesome people, actually."

Saul Bass' Oscar-Winning Animated Short Ponders 'Why Man Creates'

Saul and Elaine Bass' Oscar-winning 1968 short documentary, Why Man Creates, is now available for free online viewing. Explains Open Culture, "An eight-part meditation on the nature of creativity, the film mixes animation and live action, using Bass’ advanced repertoire of optical techniques, to look at the issues surrounding how and why humans have, throughout the history of civilization, kept on making things."

Syndicate content