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The Documentary 'Script': Sheila Curran Bernard on Creative Licence vs. Creative Arrangement

By Sheila Curran Bernard·Sheila Curran Bernard is an award-winning filmmaker and consultant and the author of Documentary Storytelling: Creative Non-Fiction on Screen, now in its third edition.
A teacher of screenwriting emailed me recently because he'd been asked to write a documentary. He didn't know where to start, and was trying to locate some completed scripts to study. While these might prove useful, I knew they wouldn't adequately convey the work ahead, or reveal important differences in the scripting process. How does one write a documentary?

To explain: Fiction screenwriters have long borrowed documentary techniques, and documentary filmmakers rely heavily on the tools of dramatic storytelling. As I wrote in an earlier article, Documentary Storytelling: The Drama of Real Life, both groups need to worry about protagonists and antagonists, rising stakes, and viewer investment in the outcome of a story. They both serve audiences that don't want to be preached at or…

FLASHBACK: 2010 CARIFTA LIVE, Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Grand Cayman.

​ In 2010, the Caribbean Media Corporation pioneered live coverage of the 39th CARIFTA Games to television stations across the region and via the World Wide Web on Easter weekend from the Cayman Islands.
The CMC, which has produced ground-breaking television coverage of the Olympic Games and key IAAF world events, collaborated with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) with the sponsorship of the telecommunications company, LIME, to bring all three days of coverage from the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The three days of live coverage included commentary from broadcast journalists Jason Harper and Hubert Lawrence with analysis by Kareem Streete-Thompson, the Cayman Olympian who now coaches in Florida. Sports journalist Terry Finisterre, who is now a LIME corporate communications official, covered the previous edition of the games in his native St Lucia, and he proved no less instrumental in providing track-side interviews.
In the run-up to the…

Camillo Gonsalves Hits a Six...

It is not every day you find a Caribbean philosopher-politician (not every day you find one of those creatures either, I hear you say) who hits the mark - or rather hits it out of the park - on a subject close to six million hearts, West Indies Cricket.

But Camillo Gonsalves, who just happens to be the foreign minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, delivers an incisive commentary of the abundance of racism in cricket commentary and writing, cloaked as it often is in the stereotypes of the tourism: sun, sand, skin.

The victory of the West Indies over the rest of the world in T20 Cricket at the teenage, women's and senior men's levels continues to reverberate through the region. Sadly, though, the road to victory has been strewn with the worst of our cricket critics abroad.

Here, Gonsalves dissects with the precision I'm sure he expects from a good Cabinet Paper, the hearts and masks of racial and ethnic prejudice that have toiled to set expectations of under-achievement…