It’s ironically a mystery for me why I like mysteries? I mean, sure, it could be as simple as I am compelled to seek cerebral secrets . So the puzzle of wondering who the killer or perpetrator is pulls me in?. Could it be as simple as that?
A Real Sense of Magic
Or maybe it is because of having been a semi-pro magician from ages 8 – 18 during which time I was obsessed with magic and mystery. As a creator and user of magic effects, back then and today I can figure out pretty easily the secrets of what other magicians are doing in their acts. But mystery books would sometimes stump me. As silly as it sounds was it that I wanted a real sense of magic that a good mystery possesses?
Making a Mystery into an Intellectual Exercise
Another possibility is that a fascination with killers and other evil doers brings about fear in me. A mystery can make this fear more into an intellectual unwinding of who the killer is and why. Also, at this time, the killers and other criminals in my urban home, have been roused as of late to come out of the shadows. The more intellectual something is, sometimes the more distancing it can become. Whatever the answer is, “mystery” is a big part of my enjoying the act of creating or watching a documystery, so whatever the answer to “why?” is, it continues to be one of my passions.
Calling all those of you out there who have made a film using a cell phone on an extremely low or no budget. If you would like to be an Interviewee or Guest Blogger on the DocuMystery website and blog, we would love to hear from you. You can get in contact with us here.
We believe that if you know the process then you can make a movie. And a great source for us to learn about the no budget filmmaking approach consists of those who have worked on motion pictures such as the amazing 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead.”
And as luck would have it, we at Lights Camera Read landed an interview with Judith O’Dea who plays Barbara, the leading role in the “Night of the Living Dead.” She gave the interview for a good cause which was helping the nonprofit sponsored organization Lights Camera Read with its educational DigiComArts Workshops at the New York Public Library.
Ms. O’Dea had lots to say about a number of different topics that included how to break into the industry as an actor, why “Night of the Living Dead” has remained popular for so long, as well as of course some of the filmmaking process strategies that were implemented on “Dead.” Unfotunately we are unable to provide a transcript of the interview which was shot using video.
Another film in the DocuMystery genre includes the digital movie experiment known as “Thrillumentary.” Thrillumentary started a day by day documenting of their process in August of 2016. The filmmaker stuck to only doing three steps a day taking him from development to getting the movie “in the can” by 2018. Although the picture was not edited, most important to him was that it proved that you could make a motion picture with virtually no budget and no crew.
It should be noted that the “DocuMystery” genre as well as the “Thrillumentary” one intersect at many points. And that’s not all, they both utilize a specific methodology. It’s a little known fact that this methodology is called The MultiMedia Movie Making Matrix and Methodology or the 6M approach. But enough with the shop talk, the most important thing is that it is…
Here at the DocuMystery.com website we’ve lately been looking at the question “Is DocuMystery a New Genre?” We know it’s a methodology for actually making “no budget” movies, but can its motion picture content be described by the title DocuMystery also?
Case in point are two college film professors: John Henry Richardson (director/writer) and Mark Mockett (co-writer). These professors made a film in 2015 called “…Where is she now?” which chronicles the lives of their actual film students including a young woman name Marita who runs away the night before graduation. Its story reads like a mystery yet it is also a documentary, hence they call it a DocuMystery.
Another documentary with a mystery component that also calls itself a DocuMystery is “The Woodmans” by director Scott Willis. The picture introduces the viewers to the Woodmans family whose dedication to artistic ideas brings them both success and tragedy. The main focus of the DocuMystery is Francesca Woodman, a talented and driven young woman. She is a quite prolific artist who mysteriously kills herself at age 22. Exploring the reasons why the early death become the central focus of the DocuMystery.
Yet another example of a film that calls itself a DocuMystery is entitled “Maratus.” When a Canberra garbage collector takes a photo of a spider in Namadgi National Museum and posts it online, he gets a call from a scientist telling him i might be an undiscovered species. There follows an epic three-year quest to re-find the spider which is why the project is called a DocuMystery.
And yet another motion picture that calls itself a DocuMystery is “Thrillumentary.” “Thrillumentary” is the film that was done to deconstruct and track the “no budget” filmmaking system known as “DocuMystery.” Since this picture was done primarily as a learning tool it was ultimately not completed, stopping at the post production phase. But what was learned by doing the project was remarkable. It is indeed possible to make a feature length movie, working at the rate of only 3 steps a day and having a crew of one.
In the final analysis, the mere existence of 4 films including “Thrillumentary,” “Maratus,” “The Woodmans” and “…Where is she now?” seems to indicate that indeed DocuMystery is its own genre. Additionally all these pictures were done on quite low budgets which seems to affirm that DocuMystery is also a technique for making movies. Are you working on a DocuMystery? We’d love to hear from you.