July 11, 2004

How to Make a Guerilla Documentary

NYT Magazine previews Robert Greenwald's latest documentary, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism, which starts showing this week. It'll be rolled out via selective and massroots screenings organized by MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress. It's the same model that quickly sold 120,000 copies of his last film, Uncovered, the critique of a certain Iraqwar-mongering administration.

The production details for Outfoxed are kinda cool, if you have access to a lot of volunteers and interns: Greenwald set dozens of DVD recorders to capture Fox News 24/7 for about six months. MoveOn orchestrated volunteer monitors to watch the network and note the exact time of footage that showed any of a dozen or so distortion techniques that Greenwald wanted to document. Then teams of highly paid editors became teams of low-paid editors to sort and structure the narrative.

All this was done without obtaining clearances from Fox. I guess when Larry Lessig's your permissions guy, you get a little crazy on the 'fair use.'

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: July 11, 2004.

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