Bid For My Life – Knowing The Ending

When making a documentary film, such as Bid For My Life (, as unexpected and unplanned as it is, there is a well known concept in this kind of filmmaking of ‘Knowing The Ending’.

Essentially, when you go out to make a documentary, most of the time you’ll know the angle that you’re aiming on attacking it from. Michael Moore obviously knew, when he started making his $4m documentary Bowling for Columbine that he wanted to show the ridiculousness of current gun laws; his bias was there from the outset. In this way, and due to the ease of slanted editing, it’s easy to show exactly what you want to show and ignore anything that disregards the viewpoint you are pushing, inflicting a sort of 3rd party confirmation bias.

So how does that relate to ‘Bid For My Life’? Ironically, it’s not the sort of concept that lends itself very well to a traditional story structure. You might be inclined to expect the final film to be a collection of individual shorts about each day, but to me, that’s what the weblog is about. The feature documentary needs to tell a story, and the ending can’t be a simple documentation of the final day; I need to say something or prove a point like a scientific experiment. So how can I know the ending, when I don’t even know the activities I’ll spend April doing?

Well, of course I can’t. But I have a lot of potentials; branching ideas about how it could go, or what might be expected of me. Will I learn something about the importance of doing something you love, or perhaps decide that enough money can persuade you to do anything? Honestly I’ve no idea about how I’ll feel at the end of it all. Perhaps I’ll be sad that the whole thing is over, however all I need to be sure of is that however I feel, and whatever point I want to prove, I need to be able to edit a film towards it, which is why I’m trying to consider all conceivable outcomes, and ensure that we shoot enough to cover them all. I guess this is why I’m so excited about the project. It could go any way, and the experience of it will determine what kind of film we make. Perhaps that’s why I consider this an experiment. One that I definitely want to know the outcome of.

One final point; the current prices on our crowd funding campaign are lower than they will be once the thing ends, as an encouragement to help out early (and a thank you), so if you’re holding off on contributing, the sooner the better!


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