One Person Crew | How do I film my first documentary by myself?
by Felicia Daniels
I want to make a documentary about abused/rescued animals and will be solely filming in Alabama while maybe going a bit further out towards the Atlanta area. As of right now it will just be me because I don't have the money to pay other crew members & I don't know how to find another person in my area who is as passionate as me about my topic. My ideal would be me & another person but for now it is just me.
I don't have any equipment right now because I don't have the extra money for it but I thought about starting a Kickstarter page to raise funds for the equipment, etc. Could I do this? How? And what all equipment do I need as a one person crew to film a professional looking documentary without having to buy such expensive professional equipment?
Also, I thought about turning my documentary into a docu-series for Animal Planet like their Animal Cop & Hoarders shows. Is there a way to do this? Because aside from focusing on abused/rescued animals I also would love to make documentaries about animal hoarders & at the same time help them get help & help them clean up their homes and turn their lives around. Advice for the best way to go about this? Or should I just film a documentary about the hoarding topic and send it Animal Planet? How?
Sorry for all the questions and thanks!!
Desktop Documentaries | Answer
Whew, that's a lot of questions. Let me see if I can at least guide you on a few of your issues.
Regarding whether or not you can shoot a documentary by yourself, absolutely. Is it ideal? No, but when you have a bootstrapped budget, you make it happen any way you can! With that said, here's a great resource on how to find other filmmakers to help you:How To Find Filmmakers
As for equipment, if you are shooting something for the web only, even an iPhone with a separate audio recording device (something like the Zoom H1
) is enough to get you started. Of course, that's not broadcast quality standard, but it's enough to at least shoot a 1-3 minute trailer which you can use to raise money to buy better equipment and hire crew.Low-budget documentary equipment listTo learn about Kickstarter and crowdfunding, start here
.How to pitch and sell your documentary idea to a TV network
Does that help? I hope that at least gets you started. If you have additional comments or questions, please submit below.