Documentary Case Studies

Documentary Case Studies: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest (True) Stories Ever Told

by Jeff Swimmer

Jeff Swimmer is Associate Professor at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, USA, where he teaches Documentary Production and directs the renowned International Documentary program. He is an award-winning Writer and Producer of documentary films on both sides of the Atlantic. His programs have aired on BBC, PBS, NBC News, HBO, A&E, CNN, DISCOVERY, THE HISTORY CHANNEL, TRAVEL CHANNEL, ARTE and many others. His 2001 Northern Ireland: Dying For Peace (Supervising Producer, CNN) won a DuPont Award in 2001. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    9781623566111 (hardback)

    9781623569433 (paperback)

    9781623567552 (epub)

    9781623567293 (epdf)

    9781501300349 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
Documentary Case Studies
Collapse All Sections

Documentary students and fans revel in stories about filmmakers conquering extraordinary challenges trying to bring their work to the screen. This book brings vividly to life the sometimes humorous, sometimes excruciating–and always inspiring–stories behind the making of some of the greatest documentaries of our time. All of the filmmakers and films profiled are Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning.

Documentary Case Studies walks readers through the fixes and missteps that today’s documentary leaders worked through at all stages to create their masterworks–from development, fundraising and pre-production, through production and then post. There are plenty of “how to” documentary filmmaking books in circulation, but this book will instead deploy a personal, intimate, and candid approach to unlocking the secrets of the craft and the business by meeting filmmakers who tackle production challenges in the most resourceful and unconventional ways.