Across multiple mediums and with increasing popularity, filmmakers have started to blur the line between journalism and documentaries. Some of the most well-received and popular productions of last year turned traditional investigations into documentaries with significant emotional and stylistic punch. HBO’s The Jinx, Going Clear, and Netflix’s Making a Murderer have not only made an impact on the public but also have unearthed new facts and even reopened legal investigations. This year’s Sundance entry Citizenfour from Laura Poitras, in which she documents her own journalism on Edward Snowden, prompted a panel discussion with a great question for the future of media: what really separates documentaries from journalism?
At VideoBlocks, we know a thing or two about entrepreneurship in filmmaking. Almost ten years ago we were an army of one; Joel Holland, our founder and CEO, sold his stock video footage in VHS bundles through eBay. This eventually became the inspiration behind our company as Joel looked to provide easily accessible and affordable stock footage. Today we’re more than 60 strong with an expansive digital download library. Though Joel’s vision was specific to his goal of building a stock video company, his enterprising attitude is something that he holds in common with the rest of the filmmaking community, taking part in a much larger entrepreneurial tradition in the industry.
New technologies have made it easier than ever for anyone with an idea to create a movie and distribute it. This has left many professors and industry insiders wondering what film schools should offer their students. While some experts believe that digital filmmaking, YouTube, and Vimeo have fundamentally changed the way film should be taught and studied, others contend the opposite: classic techniques and approaches might become more important than ever. Here are five predictions from both points of view on what film schools could and should be including in curriculum for the future of film education.