Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner is reporting that “a major documentary” about Sen. Barack Obama is being produced by Edward Norton‘s Class 5 Productions and directed by Amy Rice, sister of Andrew Rice, an Oklahoma state senator and U.S. Senate candidate.
Rice and Norton have shot “staggering amounts” of “revealing behind-the-scenes footage for the untitled project, which has been ongoing for roughly two years.” One advantage these filmmakers enjoy, says Ressner, is “near-exclusive access,” having “engaged directly with Obama and won his staff’s trust in the year before he even announced his presidential candidacy.”
But “it could be years before the Obama doc is even seen, much less has an impact on his reputation,” Ressner qualifies. “The film is still being shot and producers won’t begin editing until his race for the presidency has ended.”
What? Why wouldn’t Rice have been editing all along? Alex Gibney or Oliver Stone or Michael Moore would never play it this way. If she’s only just shooting and assembling footage with plans to start editing after the campaign is over, then I’m saying here and now that she’s a novice and a dilly-dallyer who’s not to be taken seriously.
A serious pro would have the final doc assembled no more than four to six months after this November’s election. If I were directing it I would try to get it into the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Ass-dragging doesn’t cut it anymore in documentary circles. If Rice is only going to start editing nine months from now, forget it. Nobody will see anything until late ’09 or perhaps even 2010 this way. She’s not for real. The train is moving too fast these days with fortunes and changes in the national mood changing much too quickly to abruptly for documentarians to dither and delay and piddle around.