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Small Screen: Life Behind the Wall
November 1, 2004

Small Screen: Life Behind the Wall

It has been 15 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, yet little is known of life under socialist rule. Enter Rostock, Germany-based Looks Film & TV’s multi-pronged Life Behind the Wall. The E2.5 million (US$3.2 million) project includes a 4 x 52-minute TV series that uses dramatic reenactments, archives and testimonials to give a private picture of the GDR. Random House is onboard to publish a companion book and Splendid Film will produce the DVD. A radio doc will also be released as an audio book, and a traveling exposition will debut at Germany’s Museum of Modern History.

A game, CD and website are also in the works. German United Distributors has already sold the doc into Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Europe and elsewhere. It airs on ard in early November.

Book: The Art of Documentary

Behind-the-scenes anecdotes, advice and practical tips from some of America’s most influential documentary filmmakers will be doled out in The Art of Documentary: Conversations with Leading Directors, Cinematographers, Editors and Producers (New Riders). The paperback will be released in April, 2005 as part of the publisher’s Voices That Matter Series. Contributors will trace the making of some of the most respected films, while also debating aesthetic issues and discussing the more strategic aspects of their craft. Think of it as a master class, or simply a healthy dose of inspiration.

DVD: The Return of the King

Michael Pellerin has made a living making documentaries for DVDs. Since 1997, he has produced more than 30 special edition DVDs for Disney. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pellerin’s biggest project, which he began in 2001, will reach its zenith mid-December with the release of the special extended edition of The Return of the King. The four-disc set will include no less than 15 docs, including From Book to Script – Forging the Final Chapter and Cameras in Middle-Earth. And you thought the film was good.

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