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The 5 Best Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries About Filmmaking

Movies are hard to make. There are hundreds if not thousands of people behind the scenes planning and putting everything together.

Many films are also shot overseas and need to account for weather, budgets, transportation, and more. It isn’t very easy to create a film, and these are the five best behind-the-scenes documentaries about filmmaking that show this process.

Best Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries About Filmmaking

Burden of Dreams
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale (Actors)

Burden of Dreams

This documentary follows the making of Werner Herzog’s 1982 Fitzcarraldo. The film takes place in Peru and chronicles the story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald as he tries to transport a 320-ton steamship over a hill in pursuit of rubber.

Herzog got his crew to do just that for the film, and Les Blank’s documentary reveals just how complicated this would be and how stubborn Herzog was during the whole process.

Jodorowsky's Dune
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michael Seydoux, H.R. Giger (Actors)

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a famed experimental filmmaker and artist, and in 1974, his team obtained the rights to adapt the novel Dune.

This behind-the-scenes documentary reveals the intense creative planning process that happened, only for the incredibly large project—an estimated 14 hour-long script—to be scrapped by producers for financial reasons.

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Making The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining is loved by fans and critics today, but it did not have the same reception when it was released.

Making The Shining goes over the 14-month shoot that was initially supposed to last for 17-weeks and the massive roadblocks it faced along the way. The director of the documentary also shines a light on just how difficult the shoot was for actress Shelly Duvall. | Stream on Daily Motion

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Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
  • Francis Ford Coppola (Actor)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now was an extremely complicated undertaking, and this documentary reveals all those complexities. Rising costs, the cast and crew’s poor health, and wildly unpredictable weather plagued the film’s shooting.

This weather consisted of incredible amounts of rainy days, and since they did not prepare the equipment for rain properly, the filmmakers constantly delayed production.

American Movie
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mark Borchardt, Mike Schank, Matt Weisman (Actors)

American Movie

American Movie is different from the previous entries on this list because it illustrates the filmmaking process behind amateur filmmaker Mark Borchardt.

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It was initially supposed to raise money to produce Borchardt’s next film, but it turned into an example of how difficult independent filmmaking can be.

Filmmaking is difficult, especially without proper funding and planning. These are the five best behind-the-scenes documentaries about filmmaking that show this complicated process to the world.

Things can go wrong quickly, and you need to be always prepared for the worst-case scenario if you want to make movies.

People Also Ask:

What questions should I ask a documentary filmmaker?

Interview Questions for Filmmakers
  • Please tell us what inspired you to enter the world of films?
  • Filmmaking is a laborious job, so what keeps you motivated?
  • How much patience is required in this field?
  • How do you choose your star cast?
  • It is rare for big stars to give any audition for a movie.

What is considered the best documentary of all time?

Best documentaries of all time
  1. Shoah
  2. Sans Soleil
  3. The Thin Blue Line
  4. Night and Fog
  5. Harlan County U.S.A.
  6. Don’t Look Back
  7. The War Game
  8. Nanook of the North

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