Documentary masterclass explores new trends

Xu Wei
Documentary producers and directors gave a masterclass at the Shanghai TV Festival.
Xu Wei

Documentary producers and directors from home and abroad gathered for a documentary masterclass at the 25th Shanghai TV Festival on Tuesday.

American documentary producer Mark Edwards, president of the Magnolia Award for Documentary jury, shared his thoughts on managing international co-productions.

In his opinion, co-production requires thinking about the audience, figuring out how much material you need, assembling an international team and working together on access.

“Making a documentary film is complicated, as everything always goes wrong,” Edwards said. 

Many details should also be taken into consideration such as the language versions and where to edit the film.

Japanese director-producer Ryota Kotani from NHK spoke about new trends in documentary filmmaking. 

He demonstrated his attempts in making nature documentaries in slow tempo. These documentaries can offer viewers an immersive experience as if the viewer is really there.

Kotani also mentioned the increasing popularity of short documentaries as Internet content.

“The short picture should stimulate audience within a few minutes, or they get bored,” he said. 

Kotani and his team usually have dozens of conversations just on the opening of the picture.

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