1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

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1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby wesgoodlife on Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:28 am

I live in Seattle and decided to do a documentary on their diverse hip-hop scene. All the local talent love the idea and things seem to be going just fine, but there is one problem... I have no Idea how to plan or shoot an entertaining documentary. I read some books, but nothing is like the response from real life life makers. Any one have any pointers out there that can help me out? Thank you....

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Re: 1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby dbocaz on Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:15 pm

It's good to look at documentaries you like and/or successful ones. I think Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me and 30 Days) is the master of docu-tainment. He can make any subject interesting.

You picked a good subject though. Try to get permission to use as much of the music as possible. Focus on musicians with original music.

If you can find a person to focus on who is really interesting, that can help. Follow that person as they experience the music scene. Or find a certain musician who seems to know everyone... or find someone who is getting started and follow them as they try to make it. Maybe you'll get lucky and discover the next big hit maker. The key is to find someone with charm, that gets your attention.

Hope this helps.

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Re: 1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby Morsore on Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:12 pm

I made a 15 minute one on my class trip to Washington D.C.

My viewers were very please "with what they told me".
One thing that people love with documentaries is a good inspiration or reason to cry.
In making it a good idea is to film a bunch f clips "with good camera skills" and add a voiceover so the people can look at something you talk about.

hope i could help

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Re: 1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby wesgoodlife on Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:48 pm

Thanks I'm working really hard trying to get a proper outline and thesis down.

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Re: 1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby arijitmac on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:22 am

Hey buddy,

First of all you need to decide that what is the basic concept of your documentary, what is the angle that you want to show?
For example -
You want to showcase the hip-hop scene in Seattle but what is your documentary all about?
Is it about the young talent that is trying to make it big and their lives (how they go about it)
or, is it about the financial opportunities in this field?
or, is it an overview of the hi[p-hop scene in Seattle? etc.
Your documentary may have one or multiple things to cover but it is better if you keep it clear in your mind and in your film that what is the angle that you want to hold onto.

What you need to do is first of all jot down as specific points that you want to convey/ highlight through your documentary.
Ex - The points may be anything such as: Daily lives of the young talent or, Opportunities in this field, etc.

There are two ways of scripting it:
Either write your script first and make it very clear that what kind of visuals you would require to support your script.
or, decide that what points you want to cover and then just go out and shoot, get as many visuals axs you can and later on write your script according to the visuals you've captured.

Both the methods are good and it is upto you to decide what is better for you and the topic that you've chosen.

I hope my suggestions are of help to you. Please send me your email id so that we can talk about your documentary and also some of my projects.

Thanks
Arijit Lahiri
Mumbai, India
arijitmac@gmail.com

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Re: 1st time shooting a Documentary... got any pointers.

Postby DocDale on Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:04 am

One thing not to forget are the location and personnel releases - we alway carry the forms - something so easy to forget.
Also a small sign when filming indicating that you are filming and that anyone that enters into the frame has agreed to be filmed - especially if in a public setting. Never know.
We check out each location, take a camera in before the actual shoot and get shots to see how the lighting is, and story board it - trust me on that - when you get going on a set it is easy to forget what you are supposed to film next.
We also rehearse with our film equipment before the shoot, where are we going to place camera, lights, filters, etc.
Time put into preparation will show in your final product.

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