Tech

How to Make a Video Documentary: A Complete Guide

Today’s world is full of rich cultures and unique people, each with their own stories to tell. With over 7.7 billion people currently living on this planet, it’s no wonder that documentaries are so popular. A good video documentary production tells the story of a person or event in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.

If you want to film your own video documentary, you’re probably wondering how to get started. We can help you get your project off the ground. Read on to learn the ins and outs of making a video documentary!

Find Your Topic and Do Your Research

The bulk of the work you need to do will be done up front. The first thing you need to do is settle on a topic for your video documentary, and start mapping out your plan. It’s not enough to want to do a documentary on something like American lives during the pandemic; you also have to choose the lens through which you’ll examine your topic.

Next, you want to do your research on the subject of your documentary. This can mean anything from identifying potential subjects of your documentary and planning out questions to ask to learning how to utilize microfilm or microfiche readers at your local library. The more prepared you are before you start filming, the smoother making a video documentary will be.

Gather Your Equipment

When you’re ready to start video documentary production, you’ll want to ensure that you have all the right equipment for your docu style shoot. Depending on your budget, this can be pretty complex.

At a minimum, you’re going to want a camera, some microphones, and a tripod with either a video head or a gimbal. There are many different types of cameras on the market, but if your budget is tight, choose one that has versatile settings and lets you change lenses. Documentary filmmakers favor having both shotgun mics and lavalier mics on hand.

Shoot and Edit

Once you’re prepped and ready, it’s time to start shooting your film. This involves creating a shooting schedule, determining where you’ll film, and hiring production staff to get the film rolling.

Capture as much information as possible when you’re shooting, because excess is easy to edit out at a later date. Work on establishing shots in between your interviews, they’re essential to the framing of your documentary.

After shooting wraps, it’s time to start editing. Arrange your videos chronologically, or in the order in which you want the story to unfold. Play with mixing fast and slow-paced portions to keep the audience on their toes.

Don’t Wait to Get Started on Your Video Documentary!

The hardest part of creating a video documentary is getting it off the ground. If you want the story you tell to be super accurate and super memorable, then doing the legwork and entering into the project with the right equipment will set you up for success. Happy filming!

Do you want to learn more great tips to help you take your filmmaking to the next level? You’ve come to the right place! Spend some time going through the rest of our blog for everything you need to know to become a pro!