Department - Author 1

Journalism Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Journalism



Primary Advisor

Dan Eller


Documentary filmmaking is a very useful tool for bringing an issue to public attention and pushing for political action and policy change on that issue. This form of documentary filmmaking, Filming for Change, has been employed successfully and unsuccessfully by many different filmmakers. There are a few keys to making a successful documentary when Filming for Change, and the first is to appeal to the correct demographic. Those who have the political power to influence policy will tend to be white, male, and between 35 and 64 years of age. These people do not like propaganda or a slanted film. They prefer a slower, more methodical and thoughtful approach that doesn’t rely on quick, jumpy edits. They prefer a feeling of intimacy with the subjects, and tend to be more emotionally connected if they can relate to the subjects’ experiences. But the subjects’ experiences must also be tied to a broader picture and be used in connection with factual data. Using these key points, documentary filmmakers can Film for Change and frame policy debates over any issue that the filmmaker feels isn’t adequately addressed.