Robert Drew (left), president and founder of Drew Associates, an independent documentary film producer, explains to an interviewer, Alfred Norrins, the new concept of journalistic filmmaking he pioneered in the late 1950s, which came to be known as American cinema verite. The documentary film style met with wide acclaim in the film world. It records events as they are happening, without direction, allowing characters to move in a real-life story in front of the camera lens. Robert Drew and his like-minded associates re-engineered the standard motion picture camera and sound recorders of the era to make them to be portable, allowing candid recording. The footage was then edited with art and style to make a film that gives viewers the felling of what it was like to be there. The first-ever sync-sound reality film was produced and directed by Drew in 1960; PRIMARY followed then-Senator John F. Kennedy as he campaigned for the Democratic Presidential nomination in Wisconsin. That award-winning film is considered the first film of American cinema verite and has been named to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, which recognizes films of significant cultural importance.
Filmmaker Robert Drew