#FilmMajorFriday: Why I Love Documentary Filmmaking

Film has been a major form of entertainment since the 1920s, and I have dreams of leaving my mark on the timeline of renowned cinematic productions known to man.

Specifically, I want to create documentary films. Documentary film sparks my interest because it brings viewers into new experiences by presenting factual, real information about people, places, and/or events.

Documentary film is all about insight. Bill Nichols, an American film critic and theoretician, explains that the best documentaries do not depend on the indexical quality of the image for its identity, but instead, the perspective that it offers.

A documentary does not have to be super high quality with high definition to be good or to be valuable. It’s the content that’s important. Good content and a good story is what makes a documentary film shine.

I love documentary filmmaking because to me, there is nothing better than being able to reach out and relate to an audience with real, true stories that teach, inspire, and motivate others.

Documentaries take us to places we have never seen and share stories that are different than our own. This is especially important to me, as exemplified by Painting Dreams: The Story of Johnson Simon, my national award-winning, ten-minute documentary that I produced about an amazing painter who has cerebral palsy.

They give us a deeper outlook on the world, widen our perception, and open our hearts to new – or ancient – wonders. I want to be a documentary filmmaker because it will allow me to visually share new, diverse perspectives of the world that people otherwise would not know about.

There is so much beauty in truth, and I want to capture that beauty by making documentary films.

You can watch my latest documentary, Painting Dreamshere!


Published by

Tirrea Billings

Tirrea Billings is a native of Saginaw, Michigan, and is the epitome of #BlackGirlMagic with a love for writing and documentary filmmaking. Her life goal is to be the change that the film industry needs: more women and more people of color. She is a keen activist, and writes about issues and social injustice within the Black community. In her spare time, she is a cheer coach, yoga connoisseur, and a believer of supporting organic, locally sourced foods. Motto: Fear the girl with the smell of coffee on her lips, and dresses well on Mondays.

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