How to Make a Documentary on Your iPhone

Sean Dunne's a cool filmmaker.

His atmospheric documentary explorations of obscure American subcultures get a lot of attention on social media: Vimeo Staff Picks, Facebook, re-Tweets, blahblah.

His films have a traditional vérité approach in the form of 21st Century Internet aesthetics.

And much of the time, he's giving it away for free.

"American Juggalo" - 23m

"Cam Girlz" - 68m

"Florida Man" - 49m

"Trump Rally" - 21m

Seemingly out of thin air, his documentaries connect us with people from lost tribes, satisfying an audience's longing to belong to something new and exciting... or maybe to just belong.

So what's going on?

  1. Pick an untapped subculture.
  2. Research, ponder thoughts poetical.
  3. Shoot with lots of videographers ('Trump Rally' had 7).
  4. Interview many people, extendedly.
  5. Edit & original-score the film.
  6. Make it good. Create eye-catching graphics.
  7. Release it free on the internet.

The free thing allows you to bypass many of the entanglements of commercialization.

Appearance releases, for example, location releases, trademark, copyright, etc...

Suddenly the documentary is even more a work of free-speech journalism, contributing vital social commentary in a uniquely expressive manner.

Once you put a dollar and a cent on it, though, things get hairy.

Sean's keeping it simple. And thus fresh, bold, & exciting.

So what's my point?

These movies are a great way to build a following,

A great way to direct attention to your creative work,

A great way to build relationships with people,

And a great way to express yourself.

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