Heroin Documentary | Where Do I Start?

by Mary Beth

My community is small; as of the last census in 2010, the total population was about 2,069 people. It's a quiet, peaceful community, but even here heroin has found a way to latch in its nasty claws, and has taken the lives of many of our youth.

In 2014 alone there were 26 heroin-related deaths in my county; last year a girl overdosed in the middle of class on heroin after shooting up in the bathroom.

My documentary will seek to uncover the reasons why youths in particular in my community are drawn to drugs, heroin specifically. It will address the pros and cons of rehab, and will question why some people relapse shortly after leaving rehab. I hope to critique the strategies implemented in my community to deal with drugs and keeping kids out of drugs, and raise questions about the social implications about using heroin and the apathy sometimes displayed by people towards drug addiction in general.

I hope that my documentary can shed light on the heroin epidemic in my community and also act as the proper impetus to bring positive change toward and raise conversation about drug use in my area.

The only thing is, I'm not sure where to start.

I feel that this particular topic is a very controversial, emotional, and powerful one, and it's a lot to take on for a sophomore in high school.

I've done a lot of research on heroin, both the history of the drug and the current statistics available. I plan on interviewing my fellow students, individuals on my hometown's anti-drug task force, and individuals involved in community events about heroin and how they feel our community has been affected by it. I'd like to maybe interview a past or even current heroin user and also someone who works with recovering heroin addicts in a rehab facility.

I think I have all necessary equipment...I have access to a camcorder and video editing software. I have a firm support system in place, and a lot of excitement about my future production.

Is there anything I'm missing? Maybe anything I could improve? I'm open to anything :) And, like I said before, it's a big project, and I'm not entirely sure where to start.

Comments for Heroin Documentary | Where Do I Start?

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Mar 28, 2016

by: Desktop Documentaries

Hi Mary Beth,

Sounds like you have everything you need to get started! The place to start is with ONE person, ONE interview. Find the easiest person you can who is willing to tell their story on camera and start filming. Just make sure you have GREAT audio (don't rely on audio from the camera).

Here's a resource to get you started:

How To Get Started Making A Documentary

Mar 29, 2016
Maybe review some other heroin docs?
by: Jim Feeley

Think about what perspective and personal stories you can bring to screen that are new, that haven't already been done or told. There have been a lot of films about addiction, and several that I recall seeing about heroin.

Your film doesn't have to be different, but if you hope to find some funding to help with what could be a long process it can help to be able to make clear how you're moving the issue forward.

Check out these films, if you haven't already, so you can respond when potential funders bring them up. Or just watch them to see how some other filmmakers addressed some of the issues, topics, and scenes you may want to cover...

Junkie Junior

Black Tar Heroin

Heroin: Cape Cod, USA

Chasing Heroin

Finally, don't be discouraged by these films. Be inspired to go deeper, to be unique where it makes sense, and to repeat what needs repeating.

Oh, and find a good support group for you. I haven't tackled a subject as heavy as heroin, but even on less heavy topics, I've needed someone to help me de-stress.

Good luck!

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