Observations on Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure

  • Still images don't have to fill the frame or even touch its borders.
  • The right score makes a documentary much more compelling. The right scores includes the use of motifs so that musical themes act in harmony with the film's themes.
  • Compelling interviews do not need b-roll to cover cuts. Fades, flashes, and other camera angles work fine.
  • Morris's secondary camera angles don't veer more than five to ten degrees from the primary eyes-to-the-camera shot.
  • Interviewees look at the camera, not off to the side, increasing intimacy by simulating a conversation with the viewer.