Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists

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9781611322026: Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists

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.

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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).

Review:

"Documentaries are now an essential part of an archaeologists' tool kit for sharing the relevance of their work. Peter Pepe and Joseph W. Zarzynski have done a tremendous service in writing this first ever guide to archaeological documentary film making. This is a must have book for every archaeologist who wants to reach a wide audience through the power of film."--James P. Delgado, Host, National Geographic's ..".The Sea Hunters.."., 2001-2006
"This groundbreaking, highly readable book originated in a workshop conducted by coauthors Pepe (a documentary filmmaker) and Zarzynski (a historical archaeologist) at the Society for Historical Archaeology's 2008 conference in Albuquerque. The focus of that presentation was to provide archaeologists with a practical overview of the potential value of documentaries as a channel for transmitting the results of their work to a wide audience clearly and effectively. The 26 chapters of this book discuss all aspects of the process of writing, shooting, editing, and promoting a documentary centered on archaeological field work. Also discussed are the use of primary sources such as photographs, newspapers, and historic film footage; and the application of animation technologies. Illustrations are limited in number but effective. Appendixes provide a sample proposal for a documentary, examples of video scripts and project budgets, references, and a glossary defining the technical terms highlighted in the text. This volume will be a useful acquisition for college/university libraries and large public libraries wishing to augment their collections in both film studies and archaeology; and for local historical societies involved with the excavation and conservation of specific cultural heritage sites. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers."--CHOICE

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