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Producing a documentary is an art

It is not a science. Technology has complicated and enriched filmmaking today making production easier which means that the competition is tougher. Anyone with an I-phone can shoot a video but it’s crucial to maintain high production values when producing documentaries.

A documentary must be of personal interest, educational and inspiring but above all it must be captivating and of the highest production values.

Key Steps to Making Documentaries:

 Subject matters. Tell a story you care about

Start with a subject that excites you, that you’re passionate about.


Gather facts and data. Learn everything you can about your subject.

Make a Plan

Create an outline. Make a plan on how you will present your story. What’s the structure? What style are you using? Is your production for the web, mobile devices, television or theater?

Create a Shot List – Plan a budget – Arrange financing

Formulate a list of the footage and interviews you will need. 

Before you start Shooting decide

The way in which your movie will be viewed because that can dictate your shooting and storytelling style. Make sure when you’re shooting an event to Capture as many of angles including close-ups, medium shots and wide shots as possible.

  1. Choose a controlled environment.
  2. Prioritize location audio
  3. Re-enactments send a powerful message.

Write a Narration and Script

A narration is what’s spoken or a voice-over. A script describes what the audience is seeing AND hearing.After the footage is shot it is time to start organizing it into a script. Pinpoint the most compelling elements of your story then craft “mini-scenes” around those events.

Begin Editing

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.

  1. Select great music.

Check Legal and Copyright Issues

Know where your production company stands regarding copyright…etc.


Making documentaries and showcasing your work is easier than ever on places like You-tube and Vimeo. Selling your production is quite another.


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