The Emotional Labor of Making Movies

"Emotional labor is doing the work you don't feel like doing, because that's the work.

...the act of turning pro is a conscious decision to do emotional labor."

- Seth Godin

One of the big joys of a documentary is watching you - the filmmaker - do the really difficult, socially awkward, brave and courageous stuff.

Think Borat.

Think Morgan Spurlock.

Think VICE.

Doing the crazy thing on camera.

You are the documentary.

This is the work nobody wants to do.

This is the work which is easy to postpone.

This is the work.

Everything else is curiosity, deviation, filler.

The true substance of a documentary is when the filmmaker's ass is on the line.

Be persistent about getting the interview.

Do the public stunt.

Ask the volatile person the controversial question.

Go into the dangerous place.

Confront authority.

Do this about 7-8 times per movie, then you'll have something special.

"You have to be prepared to ask difficult questions, otherwise you might as well give up making the films.

You have to believe in it enough that you can
justify your actions and just get on with it."

- Nick Broomfield

The End of Man (1971)

La Habanera (1937)