Greatest Documentaries

1. HOOP DREAMS (1994).

A film following the lives of two African-American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. Documentaries don't come much better than this. Here we have a sincere, compelling look at the lives and ambition of two inner-city basketball hopefuls.

2. THE KING OF KONG (2007).

Diehard video game fans compete to break World Records on classic arcade games. What an unusually, brilliant look at the formidability of gaming nuts. I was hooked by the plight of Steve Wiebe, as he tries to break the world Donkey Kong record.

3. GRIZZLY MAN (2005).

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. Straight off the! I wouldn't go as far as saying I am sympathetic towards Timothy Treadwell; however, his story and apparent ability to tame wild bears is enthralling. A must-see!

4. THE LAST WALTZ (1978).

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band. Give me a concert, which features the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, etc., and which has Martin Scorsese at the helm, any day - truly enjoyable!

5. THE COVE (2009).

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health. If you have a weak stomach, I advise you not to watch this; if you can stomach the worst animal cruelty known to man, this is a riveting watch.

6. NIGHT AND FOG (1955).

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. If you "enjoy" war films/documentaries as much as I do, and find man's inhumanity towards other men intriguing, it doesn't get better than this gem of a war documentary.


A biography of the rock music star. There is nothing more to say other than this being a biopic of a true, iconic legend.


The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour. If this film doesn't make you want to buy a guitar, start a band, as well as live during this drug-fuelled bonanza, nothing ever will.


A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall. This is a harrowing look at corruption like no other. It is amazing to believe they got away with it for so long.


Simple Tips to Improve Your Nature Filmmaking

With recent advances in technology, the average person now has access to affordable digital equipment that can produce imagery on par with the most stunning commercially produced films. While digital video cameras are capable of capturing beautiful images, users need to know how to use them properly for the best results. While anybody can point a camera at a nature scene to capture great footage, nature filmmaking is not always that simple. The best filmmakers have great equipment, but they also know how to film nature so that the footage turns out spectacular more often than not. Not everyone was born with filmmaking talent, but there are some things that you can do to improve your nature filmmaking.

Perhaps the most important attribute of a skilled nature filmmaker is patience. Filmmaking in the natural world is much like hunting. Hunters are known to sit quietly and patiently in one spot for hours at a time in order to capture their quarry. Filmmakers should be prepared to do the same thing. The great thing about shooting in the digital format is that you do not need to be concerned about preserving film. As long as you have hard drive or SD card space, you can keep the camera rolling while you wait for something magical to happen. However, you do not want to spend more time than necessary editing, so try to run the camera judiciously. If you find a great location known for the presence of wildlife, you might spend a fruitless day in the woods waiting for something to happen, but your patience may also pay off with some exciting footage of wildlife.

Sometimes you simply want to capture a beautiful natural scene in a panoramic video. Panoramic videos are terrific for offering viewers a fully immersive experience. Unfortunately, many amateur nature filmmakers fail to capture panoramas properly. The most common mistake is moving the camera too quickly. While filming, you should always move the camera as slowly as you can, then try to move it even more slowly. While doing this, the lack of speed can seem excruciating, but you will end up with a much steadier shot, and a more organic-looking video of a natural scene.

If you are like many people who have begun a digital filmmaking hobby, you have probably captured some wonderful footage thus far. Thanks to the latest technology, even amateurs are capable of filming professional-looking nature films, but there is always room for improvement. If you are serious about improving your nature filmmaking, you should remember to be patient and work more slowly. Even if you feel like you know how to film nature effectively, these simple tips will improve your work significantly.