How To Make a Documentary:
"The Making of a Documentary"
Watch and learn from a documentary crew
that travels to Rwanda
By Faith Fuller
If you want to learn how to make a documentary, there is no substitute for jumping right in and learning as you go.
I came across a fantastic documentary video series by Zacuto Films that goes behind-the-scenes to document the making of a documentary called “Rising From Ashes”, a film about Rwanda’s first national cycling team.
The “documentary about a documentary” follows Director T.C. Johnson, Producer Greg Kwedar and their entire film crew to Rwanda for the final 18-days of shooting of a five year project.
BTS (Behind The Scenes) Webisode 1
"Hit The Ground Running"
How To Make a Documentary
10 Lessons Learned In The Trenches Making Documentaries
- Make a plan, but always be prepared to modify as you go.
- Schedule in some time to just “hang around” at the scene where you’re shooting. The idea is to get the locals bored with you so that you can capture a more “natural” setting.
- Work with a good team who are fast on their feet.
- Have plenty of battery back-up.
- Consider how the weather may affect your equipment.
- Build trust with the community you are filming.
- Make sure the background “noise” during the interviews matches the content (You don’t want children laughing in background if someone is talking about genocide).
- Get great audio.
- Be safe. No shot is worth losing your life over.
- Think about how you're going to promote your movie when it's finished and plan in advance any visuals that you may need.
How To Make A Documentary
Making documentaries requires a good mix of creativity, courage, persistence and problem solving.
For anyone who has produced and finished a film, there is a great sense of pride when the project is done because everyone on the team knows the seemingly insurmountable challenges at each step of the process.
Click here for a complete step-by-step guide to making documentaries.
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