So what do you do when you have non-professional actors and no budget? You embrace the docudrama/neo-realist film making philosophy. When you cannot afford special effects and fancy cameras, you don’t strain your budget. You make minimalism your special effect and you blur the lines between fiction and reality. For a church film, I would suggest a mission’s docudrama in black and white. We’ve seen the docudrama’s success in films (Blair Witch Project), Sit-Coms (The Office) and Reality TV (Jersey Shore). This paper will explore the philosophy behind producing this hybrid genre.
Pre-Production and Neo-Realism
Rossellini, the father of the Italian Neo-Realist movement, had no intentions of creating a movement. He essentially said this all came about from not having enough money to do anything else. This makes pre-production less complicated for independent filmmakers. Behind all the rhetorical tropes, neo-realism amounts to shooting on location, and re-writing the script to fit the real people/ non-commercial actors that are available. In many ways the script is 50% staged and 50% improvisation, this culminates with a very intense sense of reality on the screen.
When Roberto Rossellini released his early film Open City, people were saying how realistic it looked; hence the term Neo-Realism. filmes gospel 2019 Andre Bazin, film theorist, was a huge fan of neo-realism and Rossellini in particular. The goal, according to Bazin, is to achieve the totality of life by looking at its simplicity.
Rossellini was able to bring reality back to the entertainment world at a time where the films were getting bigger and more fantastic. Instead of escaping reality, Rossellini made us face it. Instead of flooding us with stunning set designs and special effects, they gave us “fragments of reality” and invited us to take part in piecing the meaning together.
At the time of the war, Rossellini believed there was a desperate desire for truth in film. This is why he attributed a moral position to his filmmaking. No one was reporting what was really happening during the war and he wanted people to know. He used film narrative to expose this truth. There were dramatic stories really happening all around him and he wanted to capture them. It is arguable that The Hurt Locker and Precious could fit within a neo-realist hybrid.
Bazin campaigned for true continuity: deep focus, wide shots and a lack of montage. This would leave the interpretation of a scene to the audience member. The present-day neo-realist does not necessarily uphold to all of these somewhat obsolete standards of objectivity, but the current docudrama approach does strongly encourage a similar interpretation on the behalf of the spectator.