There is a chance that when you attempt to make a documentary that you can mess up if you don’t do it correctly. To make a documentary properly, you are going to need some basics to get you through the whole process of ideation, production, and post-production, successfully. There are some problems you can avoid if you understand the nuances you will encounter when making a documentary.
The Concept and Ideation Process
Everything begins with the initial idea about the documentary you about to make. The story that you are going to use to deliver the message needs to be stable. The biggest problem a filmmaker will encounter when making a film is when they start with a storyline which is very big, that they can’t deliver. For example, if you decide to make a story about a natural calamity, it becomes too broad a topic to entertain.
The best documentaries are made when an issue the filmmaker is interested in. However, being able to cover all the parts of the subject can only set you up to fail miserably. The problem with being able to obtain footage that covers several issues get dissolved and the message is not strong enough. The right way to think of an idea is to narrow down on the central point to an instance and build from there. The single case can grow into experiences of people and the scene that they witness. While you think that the facts and figures are all that is necessary for a documentary, the actual necessity lies in the kinds of shot you will be able to take.
Lights, Camera, and Action
Recording the right sounds and cinematic shots are essential to convey the message. If the shot is weak or the audio is not correct, the whole film can seem very amateurish. The audiences who view the film should be given a chance to experience the situation in its entirety; sound and sight. If you don’t have the expertise to shoot from the right angles to get the result you want, it is best to look at hiring a professional for sound and shots.
The second thing to concentrate on is the authenticity of the shoot. You cannot expect to shoot in a set when you choose to do a documentary. You will have to be out there and shoot in the most natural setting there is. This means that you will have to cover all legal bases for shooting natural settings. So, make sure you have that covered. Also, choosing actors to come in and make the shot a perfect one is not a good idea when you make a documentary. Choose to have actual real people show their raw and real emotions. This is what makes a documentary stand out.
Post-Production and Editing
Many filmmakers who start off, don’t understand that post-production means to cut out as much as possible. They instead try to keep everything they feel is important. If you don’t have a shooting plan, it can make the edit a disastrous approach. The editing script you come up with will help you understand what you need to keep and what you can remove. The right way to help with your edit is to make sure you shoot a scene several times and remove everything that doesn’t work and keep only the one that does. Making a documentary can be fun and quite the learning process. However, watch as many documentaries as you possibly can so you can understand the techniques.