Documentaries are popping up on streaming services and in theatres today more than any other time in film history. This renaissance of storytelling is often motivated by social, political, and environmental justice issues, but documentaries can be created about anything. Use this step-by-step guide to creating an impactful documentary if you want to tell a story that people will remember. Keep reading for the best tips and tricks.
Film a Subject That Inspires You
The most important part of creating an impactful documentary is filming a topic that matters to you. If you don’t choose a subject you are passionate about, your viewers will be able to tell and may become disinterested in the film. Your documentary should entertain and educate while showing a unique perspective of your subject matter. You want to ensure the message gets across by making the film accessible to your viewership. One way is by choosing a compelling subject matter. Possible subjects for your documentary include:
- A person
- A group of people
- An animal
- A wildlife species
- A place
- An idea
Pro Tip: Make sure you research your topic before you start filming. A well-researched documentary will leave a bigger impact.
Tell a Story
Even documentaries that teach a lesson should also tell a story. Like any movie, your documentary film should take your viewers on a journey. While you may know the story you are going to tell before you start filming, you can also figure it out during scriptwriting or editing. Every filmmaker is different and figures out their stride as they curate their craft. Further, each documentary you make may call for a different method. The method is not important if you can make the story memorable.
Make a Shot List
Once you have decided on a topic for your film, you should start figuring out how your film will look. Write down all the shots you will need to complete your documentary and start filming them. You can create a script regarding how you want your film to look and include a list of who and what you will need to complete it. Your list may include interviews and investigative filming to back up claims you are making in your documentary film.
Edit Your Footage
The most important part of creating a documentary that people will remember is proper editing. Editing is where the magic happens. You should use editing software to sequence your shots and ensure they tell the story you want while educating and entertaining your audience. During this step, you will add music and additional sounds and focus on flawless transitions between scenes. You can cut scenes that don’t work or were poorly shot and develop your film into the documentary that you pictured in your mind.
Creating the documentary of your dreams comes down to more than planning. You also need the right camera lens to capture professional-quality shots to elevate your film. In addition to this step-by-step guide to creating an impactful documentary, you’ll want to use a Rokinon Xeen cine lens for superior cinematography. Browse our collection today.