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7 Tips You Can Use To Create A Documentary

By Edited Jun 18, 2015 1 0

A documentary is a film that people use to share their passions with others. For example, if someone is concerned about the environment, they may create a documentary to educate people. Or maybe they believe that many people have destructive eating behaviors. A documentary film can explain the reasons why eating healthy is important. Unlike movies, documentaries are unique because they can cover a specific subject in detail. They are  cheaper to produce than a television show. Some people think that all you have to do is film it and show it. The process is more complicated than that. In order to produce a quality documentary, it takes a detailed, disciplined plan. This is especially true if you are trying to break into the film industry in Hollywood. The great news is that creating one is not as expensive as some people think. If you want to create a documentary, these 7 tips can help you:

Purchase Equipment

If you want to create a documentary, you will need basic video production equipment. You will need cameras, microphones, video editing software, a tripod, and a computer. You will not be able to create one unless you have this equipment. If you have a limited budget, you can lease these items. Do your research and find out what companies offer this service. One thing that you should consider is shopping at your local technology store. Ask a tech expert what products they have available to help you with you. They will be happy to share information and offer discounts that they may have. If you have some extra money available, then purchase the best equipment you can afford. This will help you in creating a quality documentary. Investing in new batteries and memory cards is also something you should do. You want to do everything  you can to make your products work efficiently. If you are financially strapped, then maybe you should wait to produce a documentary. Save your money and wait to create one later that you will be happy with.

Choose A Subject

Try and pick up a subject that you are passionate about. Write about something that excites you. If you love your subject, then viewers of your documentary will sense this. When choosing a subject, ask yourself, "How will it benefit viewers?" "Will it educate them?" "How will this information help them in their everyday lives?" You should ask yourself what objective is in creating your film. No matter what your subject is, make sure that you do extensive research. If possible, try and recruit experts that know your topic well. This will give your documentary more credibility. Go to your local library or surf the Internet. Ask your family and friends for advice. They may be able to share information about your subject. The important thing is to know your subject well. Be credible to your audience and give them the best information possible.

Create An Outline

Creating an outline is important because it gives you a basic guideline of what you want your documentary to be. It gives your film a sense of direction and helps you stay focused on your goal. You should keep it organized and straightforward. An outline helps your documentary structured. Experts recommend that your outline be no longer than 300 words.

Create A Script

If you do not have a script, then you cannot make a documentary. A script is a basic guideline of your subject. A timeline is also beneficial and make your film more efficient. Give your viewers what they expect. For example, if it is going to be about the environment, make sure that you stay on the subject. Also, make sure that you have well-rounded characters. If they are boring, this will make your documentary less attractive to viewers. Your characters should bring different points of view to your project.

Conduct Interviews

This is absolutely critical to the success of your documentary. If you do not conduct good interviews, the quality of your film will suffer. Try and interview people that are knowledgeable about your subject. If you can recruit a professional in this field, then do so. This will add credibility to your documentary. Doing this will help you earn a good reputation as a respected filmmaker. Ask good, insightful questions. If the person you are interviewing is nervous, help them out. For example, before beginning your film, ask them simple questions, like, "What is your favorite food?." Or, you could ask them, "What is your favorite sports team?." This will help them relax and you will gain their trust. If you do not think that you can give a good interview, then hire someone.

Shoot The Documentary

When shooting, you should hold your camera steady. Sudden movements can negatively affect your scenes. A tripod works best when you are filming them. Try and get different angles because this will help you choose the best scenes. This is especially important when you are editing your documentary. For example, you may decide that a close-up shot works better than a wide angle. Some filmmakers shoot using their instincts to determine the best shots. It is recommended that you record at least 10 seconds of each shot.

Edit Your Documentary

If you can, try and edit your project into at least 90 minutes. Hire some experienced filmmakers because they can help you avoid amateur mistakes. Listen to their suggestions. Do not be afraid of constructive criticism. Always film more footage than you need. Take your time with the editing process. There is no reason to be in a hurry. The important thing is to make your documentary the best you can. After you are finished, you can upload it. You should consider signing up for a YouTube account. Facebook and Twitter are also great sites for promoting your film. Tell your family and friends about it.

Creating a documentary can be rewarding. It requires discipline and organization. Purchasing proper equipment is necessary for a quality project. Choose a subject that you are passionate about. This will increase your chances of success. An outline is important because it provides a guideline for your film. A script helps you stay focused on your subject. Conducting good interviews brings credibility to your documentary. When you are shooting your scenes, keep your camera steady. Take your time when you are editing your work. If you use these 7 tips, you can create your own documentary.

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Bibliography

  1. "How To Create A Good Documentary Film." www.wikihow.com. 24/March/2013 <Web >
  2. "Top 10 Video Interviewing Tips For Documentary Filmmaking." www.desktop-documentaries.com. 24/March/2013 <Web >
  3. "Making A Documentary: Where To Start?." www.videoproductiontips.com. 24/March/2013 <Web >
  4. "Top 10 Videography Tips." www.desktop-documentaries.com. 24/March/2013 <Web >
  5. "How To Make A Documentary." www.ehow.com. 24/March/2013 <Web >

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