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The Documentary Life - The Documentary Life EPISODE 102, 3rd May 2019
On the FRONTLINE with Doc Filmmakers, James Jones and Olivier Sarbil
00:00:00 00:59:59

On the FRONTLINE with Doc Filmmakers, James Jones and Olivier Sarbil

Doc filmmaking duo, James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, have been making their doc living on the frontline of some of the world’s most dangerous areas. But they didn’t necessarily always intend it to be this way. Join us for a powerful and engaging conversation with two filmmakers who are making some of the most important film work today.


Their latest doc, the FRONTLINE film, On the President’s Ordersis a searing look at President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly campaign against drug dealers and suspected drug users in the Philippines, told with unprecedented access to police officials implicated in the killings, families of users, and others from both sides of the nation’s war on drug.


Topics Discussed

  • how the two filmmakers and their work were a great match for one another
  • the importance of being totally upfront and transparent with your doc subjects right from the beginning
  • how Olivier is able to keep his emotions in-check as he films some of the harrowing moments in life
  • how you are treated and best ways to operate as a foreign doc filmmaker working in another country


Film Trailer

Watch the trailer for On the President’s Orders



Chris in Cambodia Series

In Chris in Cambodia, TDL host and doc filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst shares some of his stories and lessons from his most recent trip filming in Cambodia, working on he and his wife, Steph’s, current documentary, Elvis of Cambodia.

In Part One of this Nine Part Series, Chris talked about the mental and physical pains of lugging around too much gear in a place like Cambodia. In Part Two, he goes back to the beginning, days before leaving for a big annual corporate video gig and then embarking on his passion project, Elvis of Cambodia. And he walks us through the packing of film gear for a trip like this.

In the episode, Chris mentions his Essential Doc Film Gear List, which can be found by going here.


Supporting TDL Blog Post:

Chris’ Essential Travel Doc Filmmaking Gear List


#Doclifer Stories

Where we share our listeners #doclives and filmmaking stories. This week, video production professor, doc film director (and longtime listener of the show!) Josh Davidsburg discusses his journey with the making of his latest doc, Queen of the Capital.


The #Doclifer Elite Mastermind

On Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, we will be bringing together the new members of the #Doclifer Elite Mastermind, a collective of documentary filmmakers moving their documentary films and their documentary lives forward with purpose. We would love for YOU to be one of those members. Complete the application today and let’s get to work on making your best doc film!


Sponsors & Thank Yous

Thank you to music licensing platform, Music Vine for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.

We’ve used many music licensing platforms over the years for commercials, corporate videos, and documentaries and these guys are different.

Their music catalogue that is truly fresh, diverse, full of character, their search engine is as straight forward and user friendly and their licensing fees? Unlike anywhere else we have come across.

If you need any music for your doc project, we can honestly recommend Music Vine.



Apple | Spotify | Stitcher |


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