How to make a documentary film

by Shebo Mkalapa

Question: I've got an idea for making a documentary film and so I need some ideas of how to get started.

Answer: Wow, that is a very big question. And the answer depends a lot on your individual situation. Do you know anything about documentary filmmaking? Do you have any equipment? Assuming you are starting totally from scratch, I would recommend that you get some practice with a few simple assignments. Get your hands on a video camera (the best you can afford) and start doing a few interviews with people who can talk about your documentary subject. Once you interview 3-4 people, see if you can edit together a very short 1-minute story using their words and maybe some photos and any other footage you have shot on the subject matter. This bit of practice will let you know if you want to move forward with a bigger project.

For more tips on making documentaries, go to this page:

How To Make A Documentary

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