There is nothing so joyous for a writer as to find a connection to another writer. The documentaries in this list are all concerned with the art and craft of writing, and they focus on personalities — different writers have different approaches, after all. Learn from the best, and find those who inspire you by seeing these five must-watch documentaries on writers and writing.
Have you ever felt that you’re a bad writer? Of course you have. Well, so has Vernon Lott. He though he could be a great poet, but instead he fizzled out, and it never really happened. Watch as he goes around interviewing greats like Margaret Atwood, Nick Flynn and David Sedaris about what makes a writer good.
The Dialogue: Learning From the Masters
This series of interviews with screenwriters has enough material to study to substitute an MFA degree. Each of the interviewees goes in depth into their process of writing and working in the film business.
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within
William S. Burroughs launched a counter-cultural revolution. This doc features never-before-seen footage of him, as well as interviews with John Waters, Patti Smith, Gus Van Sant and Iggy Pop on what it was like to know the outlaw writer.
Tales From the Script
Get insight from top Hollywood screenwriters on what it’s like to be a writer in the film industry, how to from a story from the ground up, and learn to never give in to people making demands that you change your work. Even if you’re not a screenwriter, you’ll find fantastic clues in this series on fiction writing of any kind.
The Charles Bukowski Tapes
Barbet Schroeder interviews and films Charles Bukowski in this four-hour long series. Today, it’s considered a cult classic among Bukowski fans for being so in-depth, multi-dimensional and not whitewashing its subject. And Bukowski does not shy away from showing his true self to the camera: in one scene, a verbal argument with his girlfriend escalates into outright physical violence.