How do you make a successful documentary in an era of media turmoil, network disruption and increasing financial restrictions? This is the question Alan Rosenthal, distinguished international filmmaker and teacher, sets out to answer in The documentary diaries. Using seven of his recent releases as case studies - ranging from high-budget historical and political documentaries to shoestring observational films and hybrid docudramas - he explores with style and humour the challenges facing the contemporary documentarian, and demonstrates how they can be overcome. Numerous aspects of film production are examined, notably proposal and script writing, fund raising, managing co-productions, dealing with commissioning editors and choosing distributors. Additional mini-chapters provide extra perspective on key topics, and the book is completed by a wealth of supplementary material, including excerpts from script drafts, variations on proposals and discussions of marketing strategies. The documentary diaries offers piercing insights into the world of documentary filmmaking, and will be essential reading for students and professionals alike.