I apologize for this being so long, but hopefully it's not overly complex a question. In summary, I am trying to decide if for my first documentary I should go big or make it small and then at a later time do my grand vision.
I am faced with a decision that I need some help with from those who are more experienced than I.
I am directing and self-funding my first ever documentary. It’s a passion project and I am teaching myself the art of documentary filmmaking, along with all the technical equipment and editing skills needed along the way as I develop the film.
I work on the film part time with my other part time paying the bills and film costs. I realized the other day that if I want to accomplish my grand vision for the film, it will likely take me 2 or 3 more years at this current rate of production.
I’m confident I can do that, but I am worried about the film coming out in 2 or 3 years. My topic is health related, one that I feel can help nearly 60 million in the US alone who suffer from devastating digestive conditions such as IBS, Celiac and Crohn’s disease, the latter I have.
The grand vision of my film is about people with those digestive conditions who use alternative medicine instead of the conventional approaches when they don’t work.
Additionally, it will ask the question, if people like me and the patients I interview can overcome an incurable disease like Crohn’s disease without using conventional medications and surgery, why aren’t more people doing this?
That question will lead to exposing the systemic healthcare and government failings that are prohibiting patient access to healthy food and alternative treatments.
There are also concepts about modern western society being out of alignment with the natural laws of life and so we are seeing more diseases.
Lots of interconnected and heavy topics, and I feel they are important to make the film help as many people as possible. But people need help right now, people are dying frequently from the ravages of Crohn’s disease which eats away at a person’s intestines.
The other option I have is to make a smaller, tighter focused documentary that only discusses the patients and the treatments that have worked for them along with a few key medical experts. I could probably wrap production this year if I haul ass and release it next year.
But I’m afraid of doing that because I want to make my grand vision and I fear that if I make a smaller version first, something will happen and I’ll never get to make that original version of the film I really wanted. Are my fears warranted based on your experiences?
What do you think I should do?
-Reid B. Kimball