Mikael Opstrup: The Uncertainty/ 2

“A book about Developing Character driven Documentary. Suggested by Mikael Opstrup”. I write /2 as I have praised the book, when it came out in November 2021, with a follow-up, second edition in January 2023 adding five new chapters to the first edition, and now in February this year, Mikael has enlarged the book with “9 new scenes”. 3rd edition, 62 pages!

A book that all documentarians should have on their shelf, informative and well written – suggested as Mikael writes is far too modest – and with the new scenes, happy to say stressing the humourous self irony and doubt that is part of the author’s style.

Scenes he calls them, the 9 texts that are new. Hilarious is the first one about the commissioning editor falling asleep during a funding screening that was important for the producer Mikael to cover the financial deficit his first film ended up with. Informative is the story about the meeting with a sales agent on when the right moment is to make an agreement. Fun is the text about the connection established with an editor, who was happy that a film project came in with a theme that matched her tv slot – Mikael had no idea he had hit the bullseye, said so, it is a good idea to be honest in these situations. I have so many examples, where filmmakers in pitching situations say “yes, yes this is what we want” trying to please the editor with money. Mikael says Honesty pays.

Adding the scenes in this 3rd edition was the right decision of Mikael Opstrup. You sense that he has had a good time writing the 9 texts, they are personal experiences and full of respect for the makers of what he again and again calls films from the wonderful documentary genre.

4th edition? – there will be one I am sure, maybe with the mentioning of some character driven documentaries, where Mikael has been the developer?

Go ahead, we want more!

And to get hold of the book, go to https://uncertainty.dk/

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3866