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Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists
Peter Pepe (Author); Joseph W Zarzynski (Author)
230 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Dec, 2012
Paperback (978-1-61132-202-6)
Hardback (978-1-61132-201-9)
eBook (978-1-61132-686-4)
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Related Interest
  - Archaeology
  - Communication & Media Studies

Documentary filmmaker Peter Pepe and historical archaeologist Joseph W. Zarzynski provide a concise guide to filmmaking designed to help archaeologists navigate the unfamiliar world  of documentary
"If you have a great idea for a documentary film, whether you think it should be on the History Channel or simply for sale at the local historical society, pick up a copy of Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists and read it cover to cover, twice. You just might end up with your name in lights. This also might make a good text for a class in public archaeology: the book is available in commercial and institutional ebook formats. "

- K. Kris Hirst, About.com Archaeology

"The dissemination of research results is a core focus of archaeological practice, and filmmaking is one of the best ways to reach and engage with a broad audience. Consequently, there has been a glaring gap in the market for a book such as Peter Pepe’s and Joseph W. Zarzynski’s Documentary Filmmaking for Archaeologists."

- Karen Martin-Stone, Australian Archaeology

" This groundbreaking, highly readable book originated in a workshop conducted by coauthors Pepe (a documentary filmmaker) and Zarzynski (a historical archaeologist) at the Society for Historical Archaeology's 2008 conference in Albuquerque. The focus of that presentation was to provide archaeologists with a practical overview of the potential value of documentaries as a channel for transmitting the results of their work to a wide audience clearly and effectively. The 26 chapters of this book discuss all aspects of the process of writing, shooting, editing, and promoting a documentary centered on archaeological field work. Also discussed are the use of primary sources such as photographs, newspapers, and historic film footage; and the application of animation technologies. Illustrations are limited in number but effective. Appendixes provide a sample proposal for a documentary, examples of video scripts and project budgets, references, and a glossary defining the technical terms highlighted in the text. This volume will be a useful acquisition for college/university libraries and large public libraries wishing to augment their collections in both film studies and archaeology; and for local historical societies involved with the excavation and conservation of specific cultural heritage sites. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers."


"Documentaries are now an essential part of an archaeologists' tool kit for sharing the relevance of their work. Peter Pepe and Joseph W. Zarzynski have done a tremendous service in writing this first ever guide to archaeological documentary film making. This is a must have book for every archaeologist who wants to reach a wide audience through the power of film."

- James P. Delgado, Host, National Geographic's "The Sea Hunters", 2001-2006

film. They offer a step-by-step description of the process of making a documentary, everything from initial pitches to production companies to final cuts in the editing. Using examples from their own award-winning documentaries, they focus on the needs of the archaeologist: Where do you fit in the project? What is expected of you? How can you help your documentarian partner? The authors provide guidance on finding funding, establishing budgets, writing scripts, interviewing, and numerous other tasks required to produce and distribute a film. Whether you intend to sell a special to National Geographic or churn out a brief clip to run at the local museum, read this book before you start.

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