A documentary is any video or film that informs viewers about a topic or issue. Many documentary films provide us with educational information. Others just describe certain people. Many people think making a documentary is easy. However, making a documentary is not as easy as it seems. Here are some tips on creating your own, good documentary film.
Do some research. Even if you know your topic well, still do research. You can use the Internet and the library to find information. Also, talk to people who know about or are interested in your subject. Once you have a general topic you are interested in, try to narrow it down. If you are interested in cars, figure out what specifically interests you. Brainstorm ideas and take lots of notes. For example, narrow down a documentary about cars to one about a group of people who work on classic cars and gather to show them off and talk about them. A number of things that you might include in your documentary would be:
Organize all the parts in an order that is interesting and fun, but that will also make sense to the viewers. In our car history example, we would start off with who built the first automobile and what that car looked like, people's reaction to automobiles at that time. Then, we would go through the changes to automobiles and people's attitudes about them through time to the present day. The end of the piece might be something that ties the information together in an interesting way, or a great comment from an interview. Remember, the story is what is interesting, not dates or rote facts.
Show your movie to someone, like your parents, or friends. Make sure you ask them to review your movie and give you some critique. According to what they tell you, go back to editing and fix what needs to be fixed, even if that means reshooting footage or adding new scenes. After you edit the piece, repeat reviewing process, and if the reviews are positive, distribute your film.
Contributed by: Mohinder Pal Singh
Date: July 25, 2010