There are just some elements to our biology that are instinctual and out of our control. This can also be our greatest asset when it comes to developing or creating memorable characters for our films.
Bernard Periatambee, a documentary filmmaker and VP of Development for Frantic Films, has made a living off his fine tuned instincts in the search for compelling characters and documentary subjects.
In my conversation with Periatambee, I asked him how he was able to discover great documentary subjects. His response: “I suppose the crap answer is that you just do. It’s like saying, how do you know you want to sleep with that person, buy that car, or eat from that menu? There’s just something about that person that speaks to you.”
In Episode 6 of Raindance Step & Repeat, Periatambee explains what your instinct already knows. There are just some people you can’t look away from – and you need to put those people in your films. However, it doesn’t end there – you need to be able to manage these characters and to make sure that what attracted you to them in first place comes out on camera. Watch the video to learn how Periatambee re-creates his subject’s world on film, and how to foster trust with your documentary subjects.