Lean Team Pro Tip #8: Evaluating Your Project’s B-Roll

2019-12-04T18:20:08+00:00Categories: Lean Team Pro Tip|

As of this writing in December of 2019, I’m excited to see a new film I’ve only read about it (I don’t count seeing the trailer; I’ve stopped trusting that trailers will ever accurately convey a sense of a movie’s true scope or artistic design). The movie is called Midnight Family, and it’s directed by the young filmmaker, Luke Lorentzen. The film is about a private ambulance company in Mexico City, one of hundreds that supplement the woefully thin government-run system. The film doesn’t sound like an agenda-driven documentary, it sounds more like a visceral thrill ride through the jagged, neon-streaked night streets of one of the world’s most exciting and complex cities (I’m going to make my second trip to Mexico City in less than a week). What I’m most looking forward to in Midnight Family is to see how Lorentzen pulled this film off as a one-man band:  directing, producing, editing and shooting (with two cameras!). His primary focus was the B-roll, the vital raw material that uniquely separates film from every other medium. He claims he wanted to make a strictly observational film, letting the sound and images speak for themselves. It remains to be seen if the film contains the raw grit of a classic like Streetwise or the prettied-up ponderousness of the recent Angels Are Made of Light. Both are also observational films, driven by all-consuming imagery, but rigorous intent doesn’t always translate into aesthetic triumph. As I write in my book, Get Close: Lean Team Documentary Filmmaking, when evaluating your [...]