Lessons from Beyoncé: How to make a documentary about yourself

February 18, 2013

This weekend I reviewed Beyoncé’s documentary Life Is But A Dream for the AV Club.

“Documentary” is not quite the right word, though, as I expect most documentaries to reveal something or tell a story about their subjects, but since LIBAD was produced, written and directed by its subject and basically used footage that she either took or owns, it wasn’t exactly objective.

It was tightly-controlled and highly flattering to its subject. But this made me think, if I were tasked with making a documentary about myself to satisfy my throngs of hungry fans, would my documentary (titled Life Is But Ice Cream) be much different?

Here are the ways it would and wouldn’t overlap with Queen Bey’s:

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: Mine also features dancing.

How not like: In order to flatter myself, mine will feature about two seconds of dancing.

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: Mine also features my adorable child.

How not like: Instead of the screentime being 2 percent child to 98 percent me, mine is 99 percent baby, 1 percent me since he’s a lot cuter than I am and needs a lot less makeup than I do.

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: We both are filmed on boats.

How not like: Whereas Beyoncé is filmed on yachts, I am shot on a kayak on the Chicago river, in the process of acquiring a river rash.

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: I sing.

How not like: With auto-tune.

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: My documentary is about the awesomeness of myself.

How not like: Since I am so modest, I will ask my friends and family to talk about my awesomeness for me. For money.

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: We both wear costumes

How not like: I prefer comfortable, flaw-hiding druids robes

How my documentary is like Beyoncé’s: Both documentaries feature videos and performances of Beyoncé backed up by millions of images of Beyoncé-on-repeat.

How not like: N/A. No difference here, because let’s face it, that’s awesome.

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