The collaborative process
Although I'd been a shooter on a well-staffed documentary and had produced a 30-minute TV pilot in a documentary style, I had never attempted a feature-length piece of my own before. Like everything else I've ever done, I figured there was no better way to learn than by doing it. Mostly by myself.
Filmmaking has always been a collaborative process. The last five minutes of any film you see contain hundreds of names of people who, as a whole, brought you that onscreen excitement: Everyone from the director to the water boy. For this production, however, I knew I would be getting my own water.
As a solitary artist, I'd grown accustomed to doing things my own way. Fortunately, the modern tools available to the digital documentarian are such that, given enough inspiration, cleverness, and sheer doggedness, a single person can now successfully capture most, if not all, of the footage needed to produce high-quality content. And the gear doesn't cost that much, either, which is fortunate for a filmmaker with no actual budget.
Having done my share of interviews, light industrial videos, promos, and short creative pieces, I already had many of the tools I knew I would need for this kind of production. What follows is some of the arsenal of weaponry I assembled to the task at hand. Remember that this was early in 1998, and that many of these items, though still very functional, have seen some improvement, or a successor. If you're going to undertake this kind of venture, research is in order.