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About the book
  • Published: 1 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775530565
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 184

The Business Of Documentary Filmmaking


Formats & editions


How to make successful documentary films, a resource book for novice and experienced filmmakers

How to make successful documentary films, a resource book for novice and experienced filmmakers

Caudia Babirat and Lloyd Spencer Davis pool their considerable experience to provide this
clearly written, practical how-to manual on running a successful business in documentary filmmaking. This comprehensive, no-nonsense guidebook gives step-by-step advice on how to become an independent filmmaker of the future.

The Business of Documentary Filmmaking examines the role of the independent filmmaker,
and explains how you get a foot in the door, form an independent production company, write budgets and business plans, access funding and market your business.

This book is brimming with helpful advice and important industry contacts as well as essential information provided by industry professionals – from filmmakers and broadcasters
to entertainment lawyers and accountants. The fascinating case studies of practising filmmakers inspire with their originality and energy.

  • Pub date: 1 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775530565
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 184

About the Authors

Claudia Babirat

Claudia Babirat is lead author of The Business of Documentary Filmmaking with Lloyd Spencer Davis. Her first documentary, Porker Stalker, won best newcomer at the 2005 Wild South International Film Festival. In 2007 Claudia was the first to graduate with a Masters of Science Communication. As part of her Masters, she produced the internationally award-winning documentary Calici: A Rural Conspiracy and wrote The Business of Documentary Filmmaking. She has written for a number of popular science magazines, including New Zealand Geographic. In Australia she worked for the well-known wildlife footage library Absolutely Wild Visuals, on a children’s TV programme called Kid Detectives (Beyond Productions), and on the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project as a filmmaker, wildlife guide and professional hunter. She has made short films with Sir Tim Wallis, and for the Department of Conservation as Otago in her role as Community Outreach Coordinator. As well as working for various production companies, including Pickled Possum Productions, PRN Films and the internationally renowned film unit NHNZ (Natural History New Zealand), she has set up her own filmmaking business, Claudia Babirat Productions.

Lloyd Spencer Davis

Lloyd Spencer Davis fits easily into the category of creative non-fiction writing. He received the PEN (NZ) Best First Book Award for Non-fiction for Penguin: A Season in the Life of the Adelie Penguin, the story of Antarctica as seen through the eyes of a penguin. His next book, The Plight of the Penguin, won Book of the Year at the 2002 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, as well as winning the non-fiction category at the same awards.

He received a CLL Writer’s Award — New Zealand’s most significant award for the support of nonfiction — for Looking for Darwin, which also won the Runner’s Up Award as the New Zealand Travel Book of the Year, 2008.

His other publications include Smithsonian Q&A Penguins, commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution, and Penguins of New Zealand (with photographs by Rod Morris). With Claudia Babirat he wrote the textbook The Business of Documentary Filmmaking.

In addition, Spencer Davis is a director and scriptwriter of natural history documentaries – his films having won 12 international awards to date. Through his business Adelie Productions (www.adelie.biz), he has been writing, producing and directing documentaries for over 20 years. His films have won 12 international awards, including the ABU Prize of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Hong Kong and the Prix Special du Jury, Festival de L’Oiseau, Abbeville, France. Film credits include Eating like a Gannet, Under Galapagos, Meet the Real Penguins and, with Wiebke Finkler, a documentary on Shona Dunlop MacTavish, Wind Dancer.

Spencer Davis attended Victoria University of Wellington and Canterbury University before gaining a PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada, as Commonwealth Scholar. He also writes essays for magazines including Natural History and newspapers like the Sunday Star-Times.

He currently holds the Stuart Chair in Science Communication at the University of Otago where, among other things, he teaches creative nonfiction writing. He has been a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award.


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