Amaeteur filmmakers need to follow guidelines on making a documentary. Here are some simple steps that can help you to make a documentary despite being new to this field.
Filmmaking requires great thought and planning. The same applies for documentary films. This process helps to streamline things, which is the base of producing documentaries. It is usually based on non-fictional subjects.
Documentary need not necessarily be done on film, as it can even be done through photography. A documentary basically gives facts or attempts to give an accurate representation of the issues. They are also used as a medium to educate people and help the audience understand the subject from a larger perspective.
The documentary can then be presented in different styles. This style can be in form of simple narration, presentation of photographs and interspersing it with interviews of concerned people. So, the basic aim of a documentary is to document the reality. The style of presentation differs from person to person.
Instructions for a Documentary
There are some basic points you need keep in mind before making one. These guidelines will help newcomers to attempt it with ease.
Planning is obviously the first and foremost thing. This should start much before you begin thinking about the filming process. What is the theme or topic of the documentary? Is there a particular issue that needs to be highlighted?
If you have decided upon the topic, then you need to note down all the required details that should help you to plan the frames. Having an outline of the basic plan always helps to streamline the whole process.
Any topic that is chosen should be researched well. You have to gather the materials required for the script. Contact people in relation to the subject. Ask questions. Visit the library. Make sure you are well-equipped to handle the subject and have referred to many authentic sources.
If you want to use the references, make sure you have obtained permission from the concerned sources. A thorough research will help you to film a documentary that has a greater impact.
Plan the number of people on the team and decide the distribution of tasks. Make yourself familiar with all the technicalities. You need equipment like the cameras, editing systems, lighting arrangements, recording, etc.
Once you have a basic knowledge of the sections, you can plan the look of the documentary with much ease. An excellent camera with the latest technology only makes things easier for you. Also check if the computer is compatible for the required editing work.
Always have a blueprint for the documentary. Visualize the frames. Think about the kind of look you need to plan. Besides, you also need to begin shooting. This will give you an immediate idea how you can rework and improve the documentary. It will also give you a feel about being an actual filmmaker.
Once you begin filming also learn to edit the pieces. Look for a third perspective from a trusted team member.
Prepare for the interviews well in advance. Make a list of questions you need to ask and develop the skill of striking a good conversation. It will make the interviewee feel relaxed. Besides, the documentary will also look interesting in terms of presentation.
View the entire footage once its edited to get a feel of the overall presentation. Once done, make sure you make it available for viewing. After all, you need to market it well for people to know and appreciate your skills.
Distribute the documentary amongst people you know. Upload a scene on websites where you can display your work. Circulate it amongst people who may be compelled to give you a break if happy with the outcome.
Use these steps to make your first approach of filming a documentary on an easier note. Once you begin, surely there would be no stopping you!