Tips for shooting your documentary (part three)

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  • December 21, 2014

Write an editing Script

Once all of the footage is shot and you’ve gathered the various production elements, time to start organizing it into a script. Pinpoint the most compelling elements of your story and start crafting “mini-scenes” around those events. Remember, a script isn’t necessarily what’s spoken or a voice-over. A script describes what the audience is seeing , hearing and mostly feeling.

When you Begin Editing

This is actually one of most enjoyable parts of the process. It’s like putting together a great big puzzle! First you’ll need to choose your video editing computer and video editing software. Once you’re all set with equipment, you’ll start putting down your clips of footage one right after the other in a sequence. The art with editing is to create a “roller coaster” ride of emotion, some parts fast, some part slow to create a dynamic viewing experience.Until the music is mixed with the films sound, you can’t know how your documentary will affect your viewers. Remember the sound track is not less important than the picture.

Check Legal and Copyright Issues

Even though this is near the end of the list, it should actually be something you keep in mind from the very beginning and throughout the entire filmmaking process. It can be a big disappointment if after all your work you can’t screen your film because of legal matters.


A documentary is art, not a science. But although it is art you have to be sure your viewers will understand the story you are telling them. Before starting your documentary define who will be your viewers and create your film in a way they will like it and appreciate it.        Today a documentary can be made on a very small budget. Go out and do it, make mistakes, and learn from your mistakes.


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