June 12, 2009

Doc Programmer Offers Advice Via Twitter

Basil Tsiokos is Programming Associate, Documentary Features for the Sundance Film Festival just posted an entertaining piece on indieWIRE about dishing doc advice via Twitter (as 1basil1). (He also screens for POV, has been a guest curator for the Jacob Burns Film Center, and regularly watches hundreds a film a year through programming or at film festivals. He was previously the Artistic Director for NewFest for 12 years. So he knows what he's talking about.)

While screening documentary submissions, he types out Tweets under the heading "Dear Documentary Filmmakers:" with 140-character or less nuggets of info--offering funny, curmudgeonly and also instructive tidbits.

The article put some of his avorites under categories such as Talking Heads, Narration and Subtitles vs Dubbing. A sampling:

Dear Documentary Filmmakers: Please use subtitles instead of dubbing foreign languages with fake accents and emphatic "acting." Please…

Dear Documentary Filmmakers: Having ponderous voiceover narration = bad idea. Having it delivered by inarticulate children = worse idea.

Dear Documentary Filmmakers: Picking the right subjects to follow is so important. The ones in the film I’m watching are the right ones.

He makes sure to point out that the opinions "are not presented with malice, and are, of course, entirely subjective." Think Tsiokos knows what he's talking about? Then get following…

AJ Schnack has his own opinion about Basil Tsiokis' do's and don'ts primer for docmakers. Read his take on the article and tone of the Tweets on his blog.