All my films are shot on hand-held cameras. These cameras took five years to build and had to be light enough to be carried.
I made four films on John F. Kennedy, filmed when he was running for office, in office, and after his death.
There's a wide range today of documentaries on politics. The central mass of it is made by networks, and nothing's changed.
When we made 'Primary,' it was just one camera. We were trying to make ourselves inconspicuous.
Nonfiction filmmakers were afflicted by two problems: one technical, the other spiritual. Technically, they did not have the equipment to do the sort of work I had in mind. Spiritually, they didn't care about the work because they'd been mistrained.
Richard Leacock and I ran into a guy who knew how to carve up a camera, and we had him carve one up for us. We had him chop it down and change the gears from metal to plastic, which would cut down on the sound it made when it was running.
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