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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan L B, Apr 5, 2002.
and do you have an opinion on which is better
A featurette is usually 5-15 minutes long whereas a documentary can be anywhere from a half hour to several hours long. My big pet peeve is when a company (WB is notorious for this) labels a 5 minute promo piece as a "documentary."
As far as I know, the main difference here would be, as it always is, MONEY.
If the piece runs under the 30 minutes, it is considered as "promotional", so, for legal purposes, parties involved like director and actors can't claim money for it.
On the other hand, if it runs over the 30 minutes barrier, it becomes a "documentary", and actors have to be legally paid for appearing on it.
That's the reason why many DVDs now have some two or three "featurettes" that, in fact, are only parts of a whole, to the extent that they can be played in sequence (take the Superman DVD for instance).
Please, correct me if I'm wrong about the exact running lenghts.