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Documentary Making from Start to Finish                Andy Carvin       www.andycarvin.com        www.digitaldivide.net  ...
What is a Documentary?doc·u·MEN·ta·ry:   A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political,   social, or ...
Essential Elements   Images: people, places, things, text, etc.   Sound: narration, voices, music, sound    effects, bac...
Images+Sounds+Edits=StyleYou strike a balance based on what you wishto communicate:   Fast edits and loud music to convey...
The Documentary Team   Executive Producer   Producer   Researcher   Writer   Cameraperson   Editor   Talent
Executive Producer   The person who’s ultimately in charge   Usually overseeing more than one production   Responsible ...
The Producer   In charge of a specific production   Keeps Exec Producer in the loop   Plans production schedule, assign...
Researcher   Identifies potential interview subjects,    characters   Fact-checks and verifies all ideas included in    ...
Writer   Creates storyboards   Writes script   Helps weave the story together
Cameraperson   Scouts location with production team   Shoots video
Editor   Does the technical work of editing    documentary   Works to insure that story is told in specified    time len...
Talent   Interview subjects   On-screen host   Narrator   Voiceover artists (reading/translating voices    of characte...
The Team in aClassroom Context   Students working in small groups   Each student given the opportunity to learn    each ...
The Three Stages ofDocumentary Making   Pre-production: Planning the film   Production: Shooting it   Post-production: ...
Pre-Production   Team assignments   "The Pitch"   Story outlining/storyboarding   Research   Arranging interviews   ...
Team Assignments   Breaking students into small groups   Discussing the various tasks (writing,    researching, editing,...
“The Pitch”   Students have to pitch story ideas to teacher   Encourage teams to brainstorm stories   Present top three...
Story Outlining/Storyboarding   Mapping out the flow of the story using    drawings and/or text   Brainstorming what ide...
Storyboard example  Here’s a typical storyboard  template: a series of boxes for  drawings and text.Online:www.chc.edu/gra...
Research   Investigating the topic   Fact-checking   Finding historical documents, photos, etc
Arranging Interviews   Identifying main characters   Identifying “experts”   Scheduling appointments   Planning interv...
Scouting Locations   Deciding where you plan to shoot video   Visiting sites ahead of time to get a sense of    the spac...
Creating a Shot List   A complete list of shots you want to get   Images of particular people   Contextual footage (“B-...
Production   Shooting Video   Conducting Interviews   Capturing Audio   Collecting Still Images   Keeping a Shot Log
Shooting Video   Shooting primary footage (interviews, action)   Establishing shots to provide location context   Cutaw...
Conducting Interviews   Getting subject comfortable in front of camera   Eye perspective       Looking at camera or jus...
Capturing Audio   In a professional shoot, an audio engineer    would record a continuous audio track   Not necessary fo...
Collecting Still Images   Photos very useful when video footage isn’t    available   Public library photo archives good ...
Keeping a Shot Log   A notebook of all footage captured on video   What you shot   When you shot it   What tape it’s o...
Post Production   Transcribing interviews   Annotating shot log   Uploading footage   Story planning   Script writing...
Transcribing Interviews   Identifying useful quotes   Noting location of quotes on each tape   Transcribing saves time ...
Annotating Shot Log   Similar to transcribing interviews, but focuses on    summarizes where images are located.   Addin...
Uploading Footage   Upload all the video clips you may use   Be sure to give each clip “padding” - several    seconds be...
Story Planning   Outline of the entire script   “3x5” planning: writing best quotes, main story    sections on 3x5 cards...
Script Writing   Done in conjunction with story planning   Script should weave together story elements,    quotes, match...
Editing   Recording narration - do lots of takes!   Rough cut - putting clips in order, no F/X   Team, teacher, class r...
Questions to consider   How much time each week/month will be    dedicated to production?   Will production take place t...
Don’t Forget Copyright   Videos shown publicly/online must honor copyright   Red flags: TV video clips and music   Usin...
A New Twist: Video Blogging   Create a school blog for premiering videos   Upload videos to the blog   Mentoring opport...
Thank You!     Andy Carvinandycarvin@yahoo.com www.digitaldivide.net www.andycarvin.com
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Transcript of "Documentary making-101-11081"

  1. 1. Documentary Making from Start to Finish Andy Carvin www.andycarvin.com www.digitaldivide.net andycarvin@yahoo.com
  2. 2. What is a Documentary?doc·u·MEN·ta·ry: A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.Or in simpler terms:A nonfiction story told through moving images and sound.
  3. 3. Essential Elements Images: people, places, things, text, etc. Sound: narration, voices, music, sound effects, background sounds ("nats") Edits: The integration of images and sound
  4. 4. Images+Sounds+Edits=StyleYou strike a balance based on what you wishto communicate: Fast edits and loud music to convey action Disjointed images and unusual pacing Straightforward editing for a journalistic feel
  5. 5. The Documentary Team Executive Producer Producer Researcher Writer Cameraperson Editor Talent
  6. 6. Executive Producer The person who’s ultimately in charge Usually overseeing more than one production Responsible for setting goals, deadlines Has the power to delegate tasks... In other words....The Teacher is the Executive Producer!
  7. 7. The Producer In charge of a specific production Keeps Exec Producer in the loop Plans production schedule, assigns tasks In charge of the overall vision of the project Keeps log of all footage shot on locationStudents share role of the producer
  8. 8. Researcher Identifies potential interview subjects, characters Fact-checks and verifies all ideas included in the documentary; quality control Helps “fill in the blanks” by researching information about characters, topics, plot
  9. 9. Writer Creates storyboards Writes script Helps weave the story together
  10. 10. Cameraperson Scouts location with production team Shoots video
  11. 11. Editor Does the technical work of editing documentary Works to insure that story is told in specified time length
  12. 12. Talent Interview subjects On-screen host Narrator Voiceover artists (reading/translating voices of characters)
  13. 13. The Team in aClassroom Context Students working in small groups Each student given the opportunity to learn each role (writer, editor, cameraperson, etc) Encouraging students to take roles in which they excel Organized into small teams (3-6 students)
  14. 14. The Three Stages ofDocumentary Making Pre-production: Planning the film Production: Shooting it Post-production: Putting it together
  15. 15. Pre-Production Team assignments "The Pitch" Story outlining/storyboarding Research Arranging interviews Scouting Locations Shot list
  16. 16. Team Assignments Breaking students into small groups Discussing the various tasks (writing, researching, editing, shooting, etc) Delegating responsibilities to individual students - or agreeing how responsibilities will be shared among the group Reviewing assignment deadlines Giving your team a production company name (AC Productions, etc)
  17. 17. “The Pitch” Students have to pitch story ideas to teacher Encourage teams to brainstorm stories Present top three ideas to class Class discussion of story ideas Teams take best idea, summarize it in less than one page of text: what’s the story, why they’re doing it, and how they’ll do it
  18. 18. Story Outlining/Storyboarding Mapping out the flow of the story using drawings and/or text Brainstorming what ideas will be conveyed where in the documentary’s timeline Identify major ideas/images to be conveyed Optional: planning style of particular shots Tools for storyboarding: Inspiration, Kidspiration, MS Word, pencil and paper
  19. 19. Storyboard example Here’s a typical storyboard template: a series of boxes for drawings and text.Online:www.chc.edu/grat708/blankstoryboard.html
  20. 20. Research Investigating the topic Fact-checking Finding historical documents, photos, etc
  21. 21. Arranging Interviews Identifying main characters Identifying “experts” Scheduling appointments Planning interview questions
  22. 22. Scouting Locations Deciding where you plan to shoot video Visiting sites ahead of time to get a sense of the space Planning the order in which you will shoot in different locations Identify what the best shots are in each location
  23. 23. Creating a Shot List A complete list of shots you want to get Images of particular people Contextual footage (“B-Roll”) Establishing shots Shot list often based on storyboards
  24. 24. Production Shooting Video Conducting Interviews Capturing Audio Collecting Still Images Keeping a Shot Log
  25. 25. Shooting Video Shooting primary footage (interviews, action) Establishing shots to provide location context Cutaways (peripheral footage for editing) B-Roll (footage that accompanies what’s being said by characters or narration) Always shoot more than you think you’ll need Safety shots - just in case! Make sure your batteries are charged!
  26. 26. Conducting Interviews Getting subject comfortable in front of camera Eye perspective  Looking at camera or just off-camera, but not both in the same interview  off-camera is more common Avoid too many people behind the camera Have subject repeat question as statement  Q: When did you start the band?  A: We started the band back in 2003...
  27. 27. Capturing Audio In a professional shoot, an audio engineer would record a continuous audio track Not necessary for classroom purposes Compromises:  Bring two cameras, one always rolling, capturing continuous audio  Bring handheld audio recorder Continuous audio important for music footage
  28. 28. Collecting Still Images Photos very useful when video footage isn’t available Public library photo archives good resource Scan photos at very high resolution  Higher quality  Allows you to zoom in on parts of the photo  Example: The Atlantic City Boardwalk
  29. 29. Keeping a Shot Log A notebook of all footage captured on video What you shot When you shot it What tape it’s on This means you need to label your tapes!
  30. 30. Post Production Transcribing interviews Annotating shot log Uploading footage Story planning Script writing Editing
  31. 31. Transcribing Interviews Identifying useful quotes Noting location of quotes on each tape Transcribing saves time in the long run! Example:Tape 3, Sam Sheridan Interview15:13: “Sure, it’s a dangerous sport, but so is football or hockey....” ****16:04: “I’m a little worried, but not too worried.”
  32. 32. Annotating Shot Log Similar to transcribing interviews, but focuses on summarizes where images are located. Adding more detail to your shot log, now that you’ve had time to review it. Example:Tape 13 Flea Market Footage21:03: Establishing shot of comic book stand21:44: Close-up of customer, looking down, reviewing comic book21:58: ECU of customer’s hands, counting money
  33. 33. Uploading Footage Upload all the video clips you may use Be sure to give each clip “padding” - several seconds before and after meat of the clip Organize clips in bins either by tape or subject Name clips by time stamp and subject: Tape 3, 16:04 Sam: “I’m a little worried” = 031604SamWorried.mov
  34. 34. Story Planning Outline of the entire script “3x5” planning: writing best quotes, main story sections on 3x5 cards to experiment with story order; Inspiration/Kidspiration useful as well Identifying best footage, matching them with story sections/quotes, putting them in order
  35. 35. Script Writing Done in conjunction with story planning Script should weave together story elements, quotes, matched with appropriate images Judge the script by how it sounds read aloud, not how it reads on paper Basic script for narrator: narration/quotes Three-columned script for everyone else:  Time Code  Video  Narration/Interview Quotes
  36. 36. Editing Recording narration - do lots of takes! Rough cut - putting clips in order, no F/X Team, teacher, class review rough cut Corrections based on group input; another review Polishing: adding dissolves, graphics, etc Final cut: documentary is complete In real world, review/corrections process repeated again and again and again!
  37. 37. Questions to consider How much time each week/month will be dedicated to production? Will production take place throughout the year? Should students work on one project all year or produce multiple projects?
  38. 38. Don’t Forget Copyright Videos shown publicly/online must honor copyright Red flags: TV video clips and music Using someone’s music w/o permission can get school in trouble; get permission from publisher! Creative Commons (CC): http://search.creativecommons.org Magnatune.com: Free music for nonprofit projects using noncomercial/attribute/sharealike CC license License low-cost music: http://www.productiontrax.com GarageBand Use original student music - they own the copyright! Always cite copyright holders in credits
  39. 39. A New Twist: Video Blogging Create a school blog for premiering videos Upload videos to the blog Mentoring opportunity - Get experienced filmmakers and video bloggers to critique students’ work Cutting edge: only a handful of educational video blogs in the world today Would have to conform with school AUP
  40. 40. Thank You! Andy Carvinandycarvin@yahoo.com www.digitaldivide.net www.andycarvin.com
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