Lollapalooza, Oil, & Life-Or-Death Stakes: These Sundance Doc Directors Wear All the Hats


This post is by Nicco Valenzuela from No Film School

Not all documentary filmmakers planned to be in the documentary space. Some didn’t even know they would be in the film industry to begin with. This is what we talked about in our round table discussion at Sundance, with a group of documentary film directors. Each of these award-winning directors have decades of experience in filmmaking.

In today’s episode, No Film School’s GG Hawkins, speaks with documentary directors Alex Stapleton, Jeff Zimbalist, Michael John Warren, and Tony Gerber to discuss:

  • Their current projects
  • What it’s like to finally turn the camera on yourself as a director
  • How to find yourself and who you really want to be
  • Their unique paths to becoming documentary filmmakers
  • Earning more money and having more creative autonomy
  • Holding onto your projects even if it doesn’t sell right away
  • Why you should avoid industry chatter
  • Finding the overlap between your hobby and filmmaking
  • Figuring out where to start – production or post
  • A good story is more important than high tech tools

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No Film School’s coverage of Sundance 2024 is brought to you by Canon.