cover of book

Robert Drew and the Development of Cinema Verite in America
by P.J. O'Connell
Southern Illinois University Press, 1992
Paper: 978-0-8093-2986-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8610-9


Author P. J. O’Connell traces Robert Drew’s influence on cinema verite through extensive interviews with Drew and with some of the founding fathers of American cinema verite filmmaking—Donn Alan Pennebaker, Gregory Shuker, and Richard Leacock.

Robert Drew’s contributions to documentary film have been both technical and conceptual. Realizing that his equipment was too heavy and intrusive, Drew persuaded Time-Life Broadcasting to sponsor the development of new, lightweight, portable synchronous sound equipment that freed documentary filmmakers from the bulky, tripod-mounted, AC-powered equipment of the past. His new technology allowed him to capture intense moments as they happened, and to make viewers feel personally involved in the events he presented. While making more than twenty documentaries in the early 1960s, Drew continued to initiate innovations that were not thought possible a generation before him.

P. J. O’Connell is the executive producer of public affairs at Penn State Television and an affiliate assistant professor in the School of Communication at Penn State University.


“This book provides absolutely vital material on the genesis of the cinema verite movement and on the working methods of one of its most important figures.”—Alan Rosenthal, author of Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films

See other books on: America | Development | Direction & Production | Film & Video | Reference
See other titles from Southern Illinois University Press