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08/19/2005 - True Stories

I first began these columns writing about honing your craft while staying afloat financially through corporate media writing opportunities. Today I'm returning to that theme.

The documentary film, which languished so long in the motion picture backwaters, is making a comeback. From fast food to grizzly bears and penguins, documentaries are appearing on the big screen.

If you're interested in this aspect of filmmaking, corporate video represents one of the best "training grounds" you can find. Major corporations, non-profits and other organizations routinely produce programming on a range of subjects-medical breakthroughs, new product introductions, sales training, and safety, you name it.

Since you'll be writing to please a client and not yourself, you won't have total creative freedom. But you'll get plenty of practice scripting effective narration, which is fundamental to many documentaries. You'll also get the feel for interweaving interview sound bites with narration.

You won't get rich, but you'll get paid.

In essence, documentaries are another form of visual storytelling. And telling stories is what writers do.


Get your script read and evaluated by the same folks who read for the agencies and studios. Discover what's right and wrong with your script and how to improve it.

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