Documentary Workshop


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A discussion of creating documentaries.

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Documentary Workshop

  1. 1. Advanced Final Cut<br />Non-fiction Workshop<br />
  2. 2. Why this workshop?<br />For your next project, you have been charged with creating a non-fiction piece centered around the interview. Non-fiction pieces can take a wide variety of forms:<br />News Stories<br />Public Service Announcements (PSA’s)<br />Commercials<br />Documentaries<br />Corporate Videos<br />
  3. 3. Which format will work best for your audience?<br />The format of your project is largely dependent upon the message that you are trying to convey as well as the intended audience for the project<br />News stories – Made in a specific format. Creator usually appears on the screen. Large Audience.<br />PSA – Larger, broader audiences. Can be costly to produce and difficult to air. They must be short in length.<br />Commercials – Larger audiences. Expensive to buy air time, but you will ensure that you are reaching a large group. Also short. You may need to edit content<br />Documentaries – Longer in length. Allows you time to explore topics in more depth. Harder to reach a larger audience.<br />Corporate Videos – Typically smaller audiences as distributed by the company. Very specific message.<br />
  4. 4. Format Case Study<br />Which format do you think will work best in the following scenario:<br />A friend wants to do a piece about the homeless problem in Seattle. He wants your feedback about what type of format the project should be in. What additional information would you ask him before making a decision? What would you recommend?<br />A company wants to tell tell people about a new promotion they have going on. What is the best format for them to share their message?<br />
  5. 5. Some Examples<br />In these examples, I want you to pay attention to the way that they set up the interview and also the type of B-Roll Footage that they shoot.<br />News: From King 5<br />PSA: Celebrities Help Haiti, Players for Haiti<br />Commercials: BECU<br />Corporate Video: Visual Media Group<br />Documentaries<br />The Cruise<br />Off the Charts: The Song Poem Story<br />Student Examples<br />
  6. 6. Shooting Your Footage<br />When you shoot the interview, you want to do as much as you can to make the shot look as visually appealing as possible<br />Obeying the rule of thirds<br />Use natural light to set up your subject<br />When possible, use a lavalier or boom microphone to ensure the best sound possible<br />In a formal interview, sit to the side of the camera and have the interviewee refer all their questions to you.<br />Interviewing suggestions<br />Make the answer to the question self-contained<br />Camera Demo<br />
  7. 7. Capturing B-Roll<br />Most documentaries require some sort of additional footage to go along with the interview footage, this is called B-roll.<br />B-roll is useful in covering up edits in the interview<br />B-roll can take many different forms:<br />Footage of the interviewee working / doing something<br />Photographs<br />Archival Film<br />The B-roll should be logically connected to the topic of the Voice-over/Interview<br />