“Passion is everything in documentary production,” said Malaysian Documentary Association (MyDocs) committee member Lydia Lubon at a talk at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Petaling Jaya Campus on 10 April 2013.
Lubon, MyDocs President Harun Rahman and fellow committee member Ikhwan Rivai were invited to deliver a talk on documentary production by UTAR Faculty of Creative Industries.
“Filming documentaries is a sustainable, viable and interesting career as filmmakers are able to avail themselves of different types of career due to the diversified background of the stories documented,” said Harun.
He added, “In this new era, documentaries must be as interesting and eye-catching as other types of films however they must be presented without omitting of the facts and realities as documentaries are produced based on actual events.”
Lubon, who is also executive producer of Rack Focus Films, said documentary production required passion because, “To produce quality documentary, a documentary filmmaker must watch as many documentaries as possible to learn and adapt how a good documentary is produced.”
She added, “Pitching for fund to produce documentaries is a great challenge as the chances of success is only about 30 percent; thus to get funded, a documentary must have strong characters and unique selling points such as unique access to information.”
“Documentary production generally occupies shorter timeline as compared to feature films. However, since they are based on real activities, filming of documentaries must be scheduled properly to accommodate the timing of the activities,” said Ikhwan, who specialises in factual programming. His work ‘The Seasmiths’ was featured in the series Discovery’s Eye on Malaysia.
He added, “I always go for location shooting based on the real events such as in the sea or mountain, but this profession is not as risky and dangerous as other people may perceive, insurance coverage is always there for us and we do take safety precautions as well.”
During the talk, the trio briefed UTAR students on different genres of documentary such as natural history, historical or archival, crime, propaganda and advocacy, nonverbal, new media and factual entertainment.