When I was just getting out of college I had realized that I wasn't as interested in becoming a director as I initially thought and instead wanted to work in post production as an editor. I liked the idea of telling these stories visually, with the added benefit of not having to wake up at 5am to be on set for 12 hours.
Sometimes when I talked about it with family, they'd ask me what kind of stuff I wanted to edit. I never really had a specific focus, but I was open to almost anything. Music videos, feature film, shorts, reels, television, you name it. There was just one focus I specifically wanted nothing to do with: documentaries.
I wasn't against documentaries as a concept or anything. They're valuable and people liked them. However I thought the idea of making or editing them was so boring. For one, there tends to be way more footage than you'll ever find on a feature film. The whole concept is to capture real life, so the cameras are usually always rolling. The thought of digging through hundreds of hours of footage sounded mind numbing to me.
On top of that, they just never seemed visually interesting. Half of the thing would be people just talking in front of the camera, and the other half was random shots. It wasn't visual storytelling the way a fictional film was. It felt cookie-cutter.
Nine years later, and I'm really totally fascinated with the idea of making a documentary, and have almost completely dropped the desire to edit/create fictional films. Talk about tastes changing over time.
It didn't happen all at once. I think it started two years ago when I started to watch Tom Scott on YouTube. He'd create these short 4 minute videos that just tell interesting stories about places or people in history. In fact, I think he was the first YouTuber I made an effort to regularly watch every week. They were interesting digestible videos. From there I found myself looking for similar videos online, and eventually ended up making my own in the form of those Disney/World's Fair videos. I can totally attribute my current style of videos on the channel to Tom Scott.
Eventually I expanded on to feature length documentaries. Not to say I hadn't seen any before then, but I rarely ever went out of my way to watch them. However by this point it was my go-to whenever I was working on stuff and wanted to watch something at the same time. I pretty much went through all of the Louis Theroux I could find on YouTube. It was a similar draw to Tom Scott videos, just more fleshed out.
I started to appreciate that while the form was different, it was still ultimately storytelling. Maybe it was because I had spent the last few years really diving into the history of Disney, but I think the added element of knowing it was all real added to the appeal of those stories being told.
On top of that some of the newer HBO documentaries like The Defiant Ones taught me that you could make a documentary and still commit to a really visually interesting style. This is just the trailer, but the full thing itself was often as dripping with style as this was.
Most recently I've been watching everything by this channel, no clip. They're a crowd funded channel that creates documentaries about the making of video games. I almost feel bad even calling it a channel, because what they make is so much more than your run-of-the-mill YouTube video. I mean, look at this. This is a 90 minute feature length documentary about the history of Bethesda Studios.
This is too good for the likes of YouTube.
I don't know what the point of this is. I'm not trying to say I intend to make a documentary anytime soon. I guess I just find it interesting how drastically positions can change over time.
As I've spent more and more time making these little history videos about Disney, I've found myself appreciating the medium of documentaries more and more. There was a point in time where I wretched at the thought of making or editing a documentary, and now I find them completely fascinating.
Never say never I guess!