Making a Documentary

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What are the things to remember when making documentaries?

There are some people whose main interests do not life in fiction narratives. These days, it would appear as if, to a certain extent, films that go by such a structure might be a little too commonplace. Because of this commonplace-ness, it’s not uncommon to see more and more people pursue the direction of making documentaries instead.

These documentaries, by their very name, document events as they unfold, document life as it unfolds. But of course, the question is, how do you prepare for it?

The Pre-Production Part of Documentary-Making

Being a documentary film maker entails a lot of preparations. If you would consult any tech blog about documentaries, you’ll find that there are several aspects or dimensions into which you need to look. Here are a few tips for pre-prod.

First of all, you are to choose a subject. Remember, you’ll need to complete the project. Think about who, what, and where you’ll shoot. Form a basic idea for a story and if you’re having trouble, read short stories for inspiration.

Second, you might want to check out other documentaries for inspiration. The same way that websites profile their website visitors to learn what they like, it might also be a good idea if you learn to profile the kind of documentary you intend to make. Once you have worked out what style of documentary you are going to make, analyze similar documentaries to identify conventions. Make sure you pay attention to the documentaries narrative structure, as this is where most amateur documentary filmmakers go wrong.

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Third, even if you’re making a documentary, never underestimate the power of structuring your narrative. Here is where creating a script for your documentary comes in handy. You will need to have a script, or you can’t have a film. While thinking of an idea, make sure you write something attractive to your viewers. For example, If you’re giving the script to someone who likes drama, add lots of drama. If you’re into comedy, make sure you provide lots of comic relief.

One misconception about documentaries is that they are boring. The idea that most people forget is that something does not have to be boring unless you allow it to be so.

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3 thoughts on “Making a Documentary”

  1. Sandra says:

    School projects are usually documentary style of film. This is always the case.

  2. Blair says:

    We used to do documentaries during high school. Our subject matter is always a political one.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Documentaries are very important especially to those who are involved. It dissects into the heart of the matter. 🙂

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