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Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Documentary filmmaker Peter Pepe and historical archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski provide a concise guide to filmmaking designed to help archaeologists navigate the unfamiliar world of documentary film. They offer a step-by-step description of the process of making a documentary, everything from initial pitches to production companies to final cuts in the editing. Using examples from their own award-winning documentaries, they focus on the needs of the archaeologist: Where do you fit in the project? What is expected of you? How can you help your documentarian partner? The authors provide guidance on finding funding, establishing budgets, writing scripts, interviewing, and numerous other tasks required to produce and distribute a film. Whether you intend to sell a special to National Geographic or churn out a brief clip to run at the local museum, read this book before you start.


A documentary filmmaker and historical archaeologist team up to provide a concise guide to filmmaking designed to help archaeologists navigate the unfamiliar world of documentary film.

About the Author

Peter Pepe, President of Pepe Productions, is a corporate and documentary video filmmaker from Glens Falls, New York. Originally a professional musician and entertainment manager, in 1978, at the infancy of video production, he began working for a video company in Queensbury, New York, learning the craft from regional video visionary, Earl Smith. Pepe has produced, directed, and edited hundreds of corporate training, safety, sales, and marketing videos for clients around the world. He likewise has made video productions for museums and visitor centers as well as produced television commercials and music videos. In 2004, Pepe began collaborating with underwater archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski. This team has made three award-winning feature length documentaries on shipwrecks and underwater archaeology. Pepe and Zarzynski and their colleagues are now working on new documentaries related to archaeology, cultural resources management, history, and underwater exploration. Pepe also consults on multi-media presentations and social media networking for businesses and not-for-profit corporations.

Joseph W. Zarzynski is an underwater archaeologist and former educator who lives in Wilton, New York. He has advanced degrees from Binghamton University and University of Leicester . He directed the research team that discovered the 1758 Land Tortoise radeau shipwreck in Lake George, New York that is now called “North America’s oldest intact warship.” Zarzynski is cofounder and Executive Director Bateaux Below, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that studies Lake George shipwrecks. He is the author of two books on underwater mysteries and co-author of two books on shipwrecks and underwater archaeology. He was one of the scriptwriters and co-producer for the Pepe Productions documentaries—“The Lost Radeau: North America’s Oldest Intact Warship” (2005), “Wooden Bones: The Sunken Fleet of 1758” (2010), and “Search for the Jefferson Davis: Trader, Slaver, Raider” (2011).

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: The BasicsChapter 1: Forming the Archaeologist/Documentary Filmmaker TeamChapter 2: Brief History of the Documentary Film Genre Chapter 3: Introduction of Video to the Home Market, Television, and Documentary FilmmakingChapter 4: Production Equipment and Screen and Standards FormatsChapter 5: Popularity of DocumentariesChapter 6: Documentary Film StagesPart II: PreproductionChapter 7: Considering Making a Documentary—Your Idea and TitleChapter 8: Pitching a Proposal and Writing a TreatmentChapter 9: Developing a Budget and Securing a ContractChapter 10: Shaping Your Archaeological DocumentaryChapter 11: From Outline to First ScriptChapter 12: Pre-Production—Production Costs, Funding, Assembling the Crew, Compiling the Shot List, Etc.Part III: ProductionChapter 13: Art of the Interview and B-rollChapter 14: Work Following the Interviews and B-rollChapter 15: Choosing the Narrator and Other Voice TalentChapter 16: Shot MakingChapter 17: Shooting Re-enactments for Your DocumentaryChapter 18: Using Still Photography, Historic Film Footage, Illustrations, Maps, Historic Newspapers, and AnimationPart IV: PostproductionChapter 19: Post-Production and EditingChapter 20: Thoughts on the Beginning and the End of Your Documentary FilmChapter 21: The Digital Revolution and Its Role in Documentary FilmmakingChapter 22: Television, Theatrical Release, Finding a Distributor, Self-Distribution, and OthersChapter 23: Promoting Your DocumentaryChapter 24: Documentaries in MiniatureChapter 25: Creating Your TrailerChapter 26: ConclusionAppendixesGlossaryResourcesReferencesIndexAbout the Authors

Product Details

Pepe, Peter J.
Left Coast Press
Zarzynski, Joseph W.
Pepe, Peter J
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
20 illustrations, notes, references, ind
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » General
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
Travel » General

Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists New Hardcover
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Product details 230 pages Left Coast Press - English 9781611322019 Reviews:
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A documentary filmmaker and historical archaeologist team up to provide a concise guide to filmmaking designed to help archaeologists navigate the unfamiliar world of documentary film.
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