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Planning my history documentary

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Planning my history documentary

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Planning my history documentary

  1. 1. The Hong Kong Story – Planning My Documentary Learning Objective: To understand the methods used in creating an engaging and meaningful documentary
  2. 2. Pre Production You have now chosen a subject to study and create a documentary on. What steps should you take to produce an engaging and entertaining documentary?
  3. 3. Pre Production • Watch other documentaries - especially ones related to your topic and decide on a style. Pay particular attention to how the narrative is structured. • Research you topic well – ensure that you are using the correct terminology and that your facts are precise and accurate. • Write a treatment. This initial document should include a summary of the documentary, and the goal or purpose of the film. Outline your script, covering each major section but keeping the outline under 300 words.
  4. 4. Pre Production • Script your story idea. You will need to have a script, or you can't have a film. While thinking of an idea, make sure you write something attractive to your viewers. • Prioritize scenes. From your outline identify priority scenes. Remember you should be filming at least at one other location that is related to your topic. • Draw out a storyboard, illustrating the shots you plan to use. Don't worry about following the storyboard perfectly. It's just a good idea to get your thoughts on paper and a great way to see if you can communicate an idea "visually”.
  5. 5. Pre Production • Get feedback. Show what you have so far to friends, family, teachers, etc. Polish your work until you're ready to film • Be prepared. Brainstorm the worst things that could happen during making your documentary and how will you deal with these. Remember to look at both technical problems and story problems.
  6. 6. Production • B-roll footage – Identify suitable b-roll footage that could be used in your documentary. • Location, Location, Location! • Sound – Ensure that when you are filming outside that you use a microphone or you do a voice over in post production. Sound is always an area where students fall down.
  7. 7. Production Interview the subjects. • Plan questions. The easiest way of doing this and keeping focus is to write who, what, when, where, why, how, and then brainstorm questions around these. • Subject must be comfortable around the camera and open and honest. • Talk to them before filming, you could talk for half an hour or more to make the subject comfortable around you.

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