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Things To Remember When Making Your First Documentary

Making a documentary is no easy feat.

And when it comes to documentary film, you often don’t know what you’re getting until you actually get there.

Documentary films, unlike other forms of film, aren’t as straightforward. Often when setting out, documentarians have an idea of what the topic that they would like to discuss, but not much of an idea of how the exact story will be executed. Many would argue that documentary films seek to answer questions, while others take a specific stance on an issue.

Regardless of your approach, here are some things we’ve learned when setting out to create a documentary:

Let the Story Find You

Too often do documentarians dive into a story with preconceived notions of what the story actually is. We, as humans, will always have biases and perspectives, but with documentaries, one must stay as neutral as possible and let the story find you. You may think that you should be putting emphasis on a certain subject or person when in reality, it or they are not half as interesting as something else. A good documentarian follows the story in order to best tell the truth.

Stay Open

With that being said, stay open to changes. The best of documentaries fall when the filmmaker is married to his or her original idea. A strong documentary traces the origins of a story and gets to the root and heart of the truth.

Create A Balanced Perspective

They often say that there are two sides to every story, and then there is the truth. Documentaries run the risk of telling a one-sided tale if one does not explore all possible sources of information. A strong documentary works much like a news story. Viewers need to hear both sides of a story in order to draw their own conclusion. Documentaries shed light on particular issues, and it’s up to the audience to determine what they want to believe.

Stay As Accurate As Possible

In addition to balance, documentaries inevitably need to remain as factual as possible. An audience is watching a doc in order to glean deeper insight into a particular issue. The information must be well-thought, well-researched, and well explored.

Here at Key West Video, we’ve had the immense pleasure of executive producing our very first news-styled documentary film called Heroes Manufactured. It explores the Canadian independent comic artist trying to break into the comic book industry while facing some of pop culture’s biggest challenges. Take a look at the trailer below:

Key West Video provided the crew and equipment in order to see a vision through. For more information, visit the website!

Here at Key West Video, we work with clients to create the best, most visually -stunning content. For more information on the services we provide or the creative videos we offer to our clients, please visit our website.

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