The Film: Decoys, A Duckumentary
"So we found a guy who makes decoys. Competitively." That's how the makers of this film first pitched the idea to the rest of the class. They might well have said, "We've discovered a woman with two heads." Audience interest was easy to gauge among their peers, even in the opening stages of pre-production. There are so many different, hidden worlds of interest and achievement, why shouldn't there be regional gatherings of duck carvers?
The filmmakers got lucky. A competition was scheduled to coincide with their spring break. But the difficulty was research. Which carvers were favorites? They didn't have nearly enough cameras to cover all those who entered. Yet they desperately needed a shot of the winner as s/he was announced. And what if the man they were profiling didn't place?
Though the subject suggested an organically chronological structure, location work was complicated by real-world lighting and audio. As is often the case in documentary work, rigorous post-production often had to compensate for those challenges.