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You Too Can Make a Hit Doc! With the Mix 'n' Match Instant Documentary Maker

By Rachel Kamerman

How would you like to make a critically acclaimed documentary and reap the ample rewards? Well, maybe not ample...but respectable?  Sounds pretty good, huh?  But what about all those years finding compelling subjects, following them around with a camera and then putting together a story that says something about the state of our world?  Gosh, that sounds like real work or something!

Well, with my handy flow chart (see handy flow chart below), you can create hit documentaries in minutes--using the Mix 'n' Match Instant Documentary Film Maker!  Carefully stir together tried and true elements from popular nonfiction films and genetically engineer yourself a nonfiction blockbuster in no time at all. Then it's time to sit back and let the accolades pile up like dirty Kleenex.


PLOT         +




inner-city kids

cut-throat competition

third world nation

Born Into Spelling Bees


outsider artist

religious corruption

Morgan Spurlock   

Deliver Us from Super Size Johnston


corporate greed

paraplegic sports


Who Killed the Electric Chair?


global warming

horrible war

Werner Herzog

The Grizzly, Inconvenient, Ground Truth


cute animals

dirty words

Morgan Freeman narrates

F*ck of the Penguins

porn star

violent nation

Michael Moore

Bowling for Deep Throat



fancy editing

Aristocrats and Z-Boys: Smartest Guys in the Room



film censorship

Robert Evans

The Dick Stays in the Picture

maverick politico



natural disaster



Spike Lee


Internet boom

When Ralph Nader Broke







Born Into Spelling Bees is nominated for an Oscar; filmmakers vow to build a school for the dyslexic children of full-release massage therapists in Ottawa, Canada.

The director of Deliver Us From Super Size Johnston follows up his hit film with a TV series in which fashion designers and longshoremen trade places and live on a Skittles-only diet for 30 years.

Who Killed The Electric Chair? launches “electric chair rugby” as national sport, but proponents of the death penalty are thwarted by public’s perception (thanks to film’s title) that electric chairs are now passé.

The Grizzly, Inconvenient Ground Truth unleashes a torrent of right-wing pundits who declare that war in Iraq is winnable if not for left wing conspiracy of global warming. Outside the film’s local premiere in rural Washington, a protesting Ann Coulter is eaten by a bear.

F*ck of the Penguins grosses $900 million worldwide; director jailed on obscenity charges for a three-way between a manatee and two seagulls.

Bowling for Deep Throat spurs a nationwide charity effort for the homes of nude semi-professional bowlers destroyed during Bush’s re-election.

The Aristocrats and Z-Boys: Smartest Guys in the Room gives birth to an entire cable network dedicated to financial news read by comedians in really cool clothes.

The Dick Stays in the Picture premieres at Silverdocs and is never screened again after its premiere, when an improperly installed Digital Betacam deck falls on the film’s director.

After When Ralph Nader Broke fails to get theatrical bookings due to its 14-hour running time, director Lee re-edits the film into a series of 1,240 60-second clips on YouTube.

Pimp propels its lead hooker into a gig opposite Scott Baio on VH1’s The Surreal Life; prostitution is now ruled legal, but only on the Internet. Subsequently, thousands of impressionable high school students attempt to scan themselves into their computers.


Eddie Schmidt is the Oscar-nominated producer of HBO’s Twist of Faith and the producer and co-writer of IFC’s acclaimed This Film Is Not Yet Rated. With this article, he has probably flushed all the goodwill among his fellow documentarians down the toilet. Were he smarter, he’d have used a pseudonym.