What Are Some Creative Storytelling Ideas For My Documentary?
Question: I am writing to you from Switzerland. I started to make a documentary about my country. The film shows the history from the Ice age, up to today.
I find that narration for the film (about 75 Min.) only by one person would be boring.
These are my questions:
I would like the film to be narrated by a figure like a Bird, a comic figure or another subject which would appear in the video from time to time.
Do you know of any documentary which has such a figure to explain the Video?
Or do you have any suggestion, how to go about to create it? Or a program to use?
I hope you will understand my (bad) English and thank you for any help you will be able to give me.
That's a great question. Mixing up your narration is a great idea to keep the story interesting and fresh.
One example that comes to mind is a documentary called I Want Your Money. It's been a while since I've seen it, so not sure that's exactly what you had in mind, but it's an example of how cartoons are used to keep a serious subject funny and light.
Since you mentioned birds, the Flock of Dodos documentary might be an interesting watch for you.
Other creative storytelling techniques involve using stop motion, reenactments (with actors) and animation such as in the Oscar winning documentary Searching For SugarMan.
You can either hire an animator like Brian Jenkins did on his documentary "Answering The Call". Read about his project here. Or you can try out some animation software yourself. Just google "free/open source animation software".
Hopefully that gets you started. Maybe others can will comment below with more ideas.
I just wanted to say that I think your website is amazing. I am a beginner with an idea, and the info and articles on your website are easy to understand and answer many questions I have. I can't wait to start filming!
--Sarah (Sydney, Australia)
I am a professional filmmaker, and I applaud this site for detailing the ABC's of documentary filmmaking. It serves as my own checklist as I continue making my own films... Thanks!