Director Ken Burns revealed that his next documentary is about Franklin Roosevelt, and it's fourteen hours long...which sounds like too much, until you realize there's been over thirty hours of TV dedicated to Honey Boo Boo.
Do I believe the execution will work out? Les Moonves said yes to Survivor based partly upon my show Eco-Challenge. He liked my way of filming outdoors. It was the first use of helicopters on a documentary with the gyro-stabilized lenses. And a certain beauty of filming, allowing the drops to fall from a leaf into a puddle, allowing a spider to weave a web. Taking the breath to allow that to happen rather than showing scene after scene.
The documentaries were something that I could do for a small amount of money, and then I felt like as long as I found the truth in the stories I was telling as a doc, I could teach myself filmmaking through doc filmmaking.
With documentary-film projects, you hope you highlight an area of concern people haven't thought about before. A lot of times, I'm asking myself - 'This seems to be a significant problem. What can be done that hasn't been done?
I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn't disconnect myself from it any longer. I read books like 'Diet for a New America' and saw documentaries like 'Earthlings' and 'Meet your Meat,' and it became an easy choice for me.
Now documentary evidence is acceptable. What does that mean? If you have documentary evidence that a person served as a guard in one of the death camps and the documents have been authenticated, that is grounds to charge the person with crimes against humanity. And that's why you see the spate of trials previously, for example, in the '70s and the '80s, even in the low '90s. That was not the case until the change in the law.
When you see the documentary, you'll see that there were parallels. Michael and I both wanted Daniel Craig, and it was the same as it was for Cubby and Harry when they wanted Sean [Connery]. The studio wanted a star and wanted an American, and wanted this and that, but they determined, "No, it's Sean Connery."
I think my movies aren't sentimental. I think my movies are funny and sad and realistic. Not realistic in the sense that they're documentaries, but realistic in the sense that they're not idealistic, they're not optimistic, not pessimistic, and not propagandistic. They're an analysis of a situation. I call it as I see it, so to speak.
The documentary photographer aims his camera at the real world to record truthfulness. At the same time, he must strive for form, to devise effective ways of organizing and using the material. For content and form are interrelated. The problems presented by content and form must be so developed that the result is fundimentally [sic] true to the realities of life as we know it. The chief problem is to find a form that adequately represents the reality.