© 2011, 2012 Philip Wier Films and Mantra Communications, Inc.

To arrange a private screening, please contact: PHILIP WIER | Executive Producer EMAIL


The documentary process begins with an interview to determine a content outline based on the subject’s history, evaluate archival elements (photos, videos, film reels, news clippings, etc.), and discuss who should be included as interview subjects in the film. During the session, the general tone and creative approach will be determined. Based on the film’s needs and your desires, a budget will be generated.


Pre-production involves setting up shoot dates, scheduling interviews and travel as necessary, booking crew members and equipment, and capturing and converting archival elements to a digital format that can be used in the documentary. Interview questions and voice-over scripts are written, and a list of all shots and locations is created. During this phase, a production schedule will be generated which include shoot dates, editing timeline and finish date.


Filming will take place at various locations as necessary, with an emphasis on capturing interview subjects in their own environments and in the course of their daily activities. Interview subjects will receive questions to consider prior to filming, so that they can be as prepared as possible for their interview. Everything that will be used in the documentary is shot during this phase, including photography of homes, gardens, collections, businesses, cultural endeavors, interaction with the community, etc. All filming is done on state-of-the-art high definition digital equipment.


During editing, the documentary begins to take shape. Location footage, interviews and archival elements are edited together to tell a story, then graphic elements and a music score are added to give the film depth and emotion. Sound mixing, color correction and mastering are the final steps before the film is finished, and ensure an award-worthy film. While editing is often the most time-consuming phase of the process, it is also the most exciting because the film comes to life. For those who prefer to see the film prior to a premiere event, a private screening is arranged. Masters and copies (DVD and digital) of the documentary are created. Additionally, all interview footage (regardless of whether it is in the final edit) and archival items are included as digital files for future use or historical purposes.


We are happy to arrange a premiere event at an appropriate private facility, a movie theater, or by creating a “theater” in your home with professional project equipment. Premieres can be simple affairs for family and friends, or more elaborate endeavors to include catering, ushers, searchlights, a red carpet walk – whatever you can imagine, we are happy to provide.


Philipwier Films utilizes industry standard contracts and payment schedules. Generally, 50% of the total budget is submitted with an executed contract; 25% is due at end of filming and the remaining 25% due upon delivery of the completed film.


Obviously, the requirements of the production (number of interviews, locations, travel, equipment, days of shooting, conversion of archival materials) and post production (stock or original musical score, number of copies requested, etc) affect the budget of the film. Simple tribute films that require one or two days of shooting have a different budget than a full-length family history documentary that requires multiple days of shooting and locations. To learn more about budgets, please contact us.