Rough Cut
Rough Cut
The Video Consortium
Conversations with documentary filmmakers and video journalists about their creative process—successes, failures, and what they’ve learned along the way. Created by the global filmmaking collective The Video Consortium, Rough Cut is a guide to navigating today’s ever-changing media landscape.
The Biggest Challenges Facing the Documentary Industry
The documentary industry has seen huge changes in the last decade. So where does the industry stand today? What are some of the greatest challenges documentary filmmakers face? And what kind of work do industry gatekeepers want to support?Our guest, Sara Archambault, is leading a new initiative at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center that is trying to answer these questions. The program, “Documentary in the Public Interest”, surveys scholars, filmmakers, journalists, and industry leaders to find out the most prominent trends in the doc industry and the biggest challenges filmmakers face. Sara Archambault has been a documentary producer and programmer for more than a decade. She was Program Director at LEF Foundation for 10 years, and was the Founder/Programmer of The DocYard.Note that is the last episode with Rough Cut's Creator and Host Jennie Butler. If you'd like to get in touch, she can be reached at jenniebtlr@gmail.com Host Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Jan 5
32 min
Inside Programming at Hot Docs Film Festival
Aisha Jamal is a filmmaker, programmer and college professor. She is Canadian film programmer at Hot Docs Documentary Festival and previously worked for TIFF and Syria Film Festival Toronto, among others. In this episode, Aisha talks about her path to programming, how her work as a filmmaker and film teacher informs her programming, and how programming decisions at Hot Docs are made.Host Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Jul 10, 2023
19 min
Lessons from a First Time Filmmaker
When filmmaker Amanda Kim discovered the artist Nam June Paik, she knew she wanted to make a documentary about him. Five years later, Amanda's debut film Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Amanda came on the pod to talk about what she learned as a first time filmmaker — from bringing on producers, to fundraising, to navigating the edit. Moon is the Oldest TV is currently screening at Film Forum in NYC.Find Amanda Kim on Instagram.Host Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Apr 5, 2023
19 min
What Documentary Filmmakers Can Learn from Narrative
The Oscar-nominated documentary All That Breathes has a distinct visual style: long, beautiful, perfectly-constructed shots akin to narrative films. How can one stay true to this style in the unpredictable, often chaotic environments that define documentary filmmaking? Director Shaunak Sen came on the pod to discuss his film's visual style, how he was able to capture so many unique, organic moments, and his approach to the edit.You can watch All That Breathes now on HBO MAX.Find Saunak on InstagramHost Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Mar 9, 2023
21 min
Rita Baghdadi on Building Intimacy with Subjects & Directing and Shooting Simultaneously
In this episode, we sit down with director, producer, and cinematographer Rita Baghdadi, who's latest film Sirens premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest.Rita talks about how she transitioned from competitive horse jumping to documentary filmmaking, her process in making the film Sirens, how she was able to bring Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne on as Executive Producers, her collaboration with the composer Para One, how she was able to juggle verité shooting and directing, and more.Find Rita on Instagram Check out the film Sirens on Instagram and sirensdocumentary.com Host Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Jan 20, 2023
25 min
When Subjects Change their Relationship with your Film
Indian filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh were pleasantly surprised when their  independent feature doc Writing with Fire swept up awards, including at Sundance, and became the first Indian feature doc to ever be nominated for an Oscar. But they were shocked when the film's subjects, after traveling with and celebrating the film for 14-months, suddenly pulled back from the project, releasing a statement saying that the film oversimplifies their work.In this episode, Rintu and Sushmit talk about how they maintain the delicate balance between filmmaker and participant, as well as the stakes and challenges of storytelling in a dynamically evolving and complex democracy.Host Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Dec 1, 2022
39 min
What Do Filmmakers Owe Their Subjects?
What Do Filmmakers Owe Their Subjects? Souki Mehdaoui is a documentary filmmaker, DP, and subject coordinator. Her cinematography can be seen on Netflix, HBO, New York Times, and the Sundance-premiering documentaries The Great Hack and Mucho Mucho Amor.Souki was a subject in the HBO doc series The Vow, and she brought her experiences as a documentary participant into her work as a subject coordinator for the Showtime documentary Cusp.In this episode, Souki talks about what she’s learned from being on both sides of the camera and how filmmakers can create a transparent and ethical relationship with their film’s participants.Follow Souki on instagram and check out her work here.Rough Cut on InstagramVideo Consortium on InstagramHost Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Nov 10, 2022
35 min
Two Documentaries on the Same Subject?
It's a scenario most documentary filmmakers dread: someone else is covering the same story. Dueling documentaries are becoming more common, but is competition always bad for filmmakers?Director Jenner Furst came on the pod to talk about this phenomenon, which he's experienced several times throughout his career. Jenner and his filmmaking partner Julia Willoughby Nason and Michael Gasparro directed Hulu's Fyre Fraud, which came out days before Netflix's FYRE, as well as LulaRich, released just prior to another film on the same subject, The Rise and Fall of LuLaRoe.Jenner talks about how he approached these stories knowing there was a competing doc in progress, how he was able to gain access to some of the films' more controversial participants, and his advice for pitching to streamers.Rough Cut on InstagramVideo Consortium on InstagramHost Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox Shannon on InstagramProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Oct 20, 2022
25 min
The Relationship between Filmmaker and Subject
A documentary filmmaker's relationship with their film's participants, or "subjects", is one of the most important but challenging parts of making a film. The director might have to consider: What are the boundaries of my relationship with the subject? Should the subjects be paid? What effects will my film have on the subjects' lives?These questions are at the heart of the new documentary, SUBJECT, from directors Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall. The film examines the ethics of documentary filmmaking through interviews with industry gatekeepers, as well as subjects of some of the most notable documentaries like Hoop Dreams, Capturing the Friedmans, The Square, and The Staircase. On this episode, Jennifer and Camilla talk about the experiences that inspired them to make SUBJECT, and how filmmakers can apply the film's themes to their own work.To learn more about SUBJECT visit https://www.subject.film/Rough Cut on InstagramVideo Consortium on InstagramHost Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-RobbinsProducer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox ShannonProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on InstagramGot an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Sep 29, 2022
29 min
Licensing Music For Your Film
This episode is all about music in film—choosing the right tracks, licensing music, music supervision, and more. We sat down with all star Music Supervisor Justin Feldman, whose credits include The Last Dance, Silicon Valley, Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, and Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby. Justin rose through the ranks at Hit The Ground Running, an LA-based, full-service music supervision company, and shares his deep knowledge on music in film.To learn more about Hit The Ground Running, visit htgr.netGet in touch with Justin Feldman at info@htgr.net or on Twitter @JT_FeldmanRough Cut on InstagramVideo Consortium on InstagramHost Jennie Butler on InstagramExecutive Producer Sky Dylan-Robbins Producer Amy DiGiacomo on Instagram and TwitterProducer Caley Fox ShannonProducer Abhishyant KidangoorEditor Audrey Horowitz on Instagram Got an idea for an episode? Email podcast@videoconsortium.orgClick here to support the Video Consortium
Sep 8, 2022
27 min
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