Ron Howard on exploring documentaries as a filmmaker
Ron Howard Talks On Documentaries (Photo Credit – Getty Images)

Director Ron Howard says his experience of working in documentaries has started to reflect in his work as a feature filmmaker.

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“I have only in the last five years begun working on documentaries while I am still doing narratives, scripted movies, and TV. And yet I had not done a verite,” Howard said, referring to Cinema Verite, or the French film movement of the 1960s that showed people in everyday situations speaking real-life lines and going through authentic action.

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“They have been built around music and The Beatles and Pavarotti, and one we did around Jay-Z. And, they have been fascinating to work on and I really enjoyed it, but they have not been explorations and they have not been covering a story. I am a guy who is used to a script. It starts with an outline, rewrite it. Go back shoot it twice, three times. Go again! It is a bit of a high-wire act and I think that is good for me as a filmmaker,” he added.

He continued: “I am finding that it is already influencing my work in the scripted narrative in ways that I like. But what I do find that is very interesting, my experiences, particularly in post-production, which is where you ultimately make the movie no matter what you dreamed of or thought about or read in the script, and tried to shoot that day, it is really the post-production where you really find the story.”

“And that discipline of looking at scenes not only of what they were supposed to be, but what they could represent serves me pretty well, and I am beginning to see the possibility of narratives pretty well. Sometimes it shapes the questions that you ask of the subjects that you are following,” he added.

Howard’s latest documentary “Rebuilding Paradise” will premiere on National Geographic on Saturday. The documentary is a part of Nat Geo’s Spotlight programming.

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