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The New Collaborative Filmmaking: 99% Case Study

The filmmakers behind 99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film take the audience behind the scenes of this unprecedented feature documentary with a case study of the production and processes that went into its creation.

We'll briefly cover technical information including digital workflows, conforming footage from various cameras, and editing solutions, but the focus will be on the creative and inclusive aspects of making a film with so many collaborators.

We'll share the origin story of the film: one filmmaker was watching a livestream of the mass arrests of 700+ people on the Brooklyn Bridge, until the person filming ran out of batteries and the screen went black. That moment inspired her to start filming, as if in tag team with that unknown filmer, and to start a collaborative film that would cover the movement from many perspectives.

We'll detail then how this idea was put into practice, show a teaser trailer of the film, and take questions from the audience.


  1. Why make a film in this way? Why not just make a normal, traditional film with one director, a DP, etc? What advantage did you see to making a film using this collaborative process, and what were the hardest aspects of it?
  2. Is the film a collective with a horizontal structure, or is it hierarchical like a traditional film? What positives and negatives resulted from this?
  3. You say that anyone was welcome to join the production, but how did people get involved who had no experience with filmmaking?
  4. What production processes and systems did you use to organize the participation of over 100 people, most of whom had never met each other?
  5. How much footage did you end up with, and how did you construct a cohesive story with so much disparate footage from so many people in so many places? What were the storytelling challenges that this production faced, and were there any advantages, from a storytelling perspective, of including many voices and perspectives? Were there specific techniques used to make it come together as a whole?



Audrey Ewell, Producer/Director, Field Pictures

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