"While there are many books about the technical basics of documentary film production, none of them integrate so thoroughly the artistic intention at the heart of great direction with the means of realization in pre-production, the field and the editing room...Great directing is equally a matter of heart and soul as much as technical knowledge. This idea is prevalent throughout Rabiger's book." - Ray Zone, International Documentary Magazine
"What makes this book so valuable is that the author consistently searches for the philosophical underpinnings of his art and never gets lost in the technical processes of filmmaking." - Jonathan Luskin, Flying Moose Pictures, San Francisco
"The book's greatest strength is the emphasis on documentary filmmaking as a creative, storytelling process....It supplies more in the way of an ethical foundation for the young filmmaker than any other title on the market." - Phil Hopper, Director, Theatre and Media Arts Program, Marymount College of Fordham University
"Intelligent and artfully written, Directing the Documentary should enjoy a place of prominence in the library of every documentary videomaker." - Videomaker magazine
"...what really makes this book so valuable is that the author is just so inspiring. Rabiger writes with such enthusiasm that even the most nervous would-be documentary maker is encouraged. But this is not the extent of his audience as this text is also highly relevant and impassioning to the seasoned pro...This text is inspirational, accessible, filled with useful filmic references and snippets of advice...This updated 4th edition really is a must for anyone with an interest in documentary filmmaking." - POV2 Journal
"Skim and scan this one? Nope! Read it cover to cover? Absolutely! Not since I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has a book been the cause of forcing me to rethink things as much as this one. For those either making documentaries or thinking about it, this is the book to get." - Steve Douglas, underwater videographer and writer for kenstone.net
"I read Michael Rabiger's Directing the Documentary which contains a list of not-to-miss American documentaries and Thin Blue Line is among them, as well as other films that depict wrongful incarcerations, such as Murder on a Sunday Morning."--PBS.com's blog "Doc Soup"
About the Author
Michael Rabiger has directed or edited over 35 films, founded the Documentary Center at Columbia College, Chicago, and was Chair of its Film/Video Department. Now Professor Emeritus, Rabiger has also been presented with the Preservation and Scholarship Award by the International Documentary Association. He has given workshops in many countries, led a multinational European documentary workshop for CILECT, the international association of film schools. As Visiting Professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he taught idea development, directing, and advanced production. When he retired 2001 to write full-time, Columbia renamed its documentary center "The Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary. In 2002 he was made Honorary Professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; in 2003 awarded the 2003 Preservation and Scholarship Award by the International Documentary Association in Los Angeles; in 2005 the Genius Career Achievement Award by the Chicago International Documentary Festival, and also in 2005 was made Professor Emeritus by Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of the enormously successful, Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics
(Focal Press), now in its fourth edition, and Directing the Documentary
(Focal Press), now in its fifth edition. He is also the author of Developing Story Ideas
(Focal Press), currently in its second edition. He is currently writing a biography of Thomas Hardy.