How to Plan the Documentary

Why to make Documentary ?

This is the most important question , the answer is when you make documentary you Get to learn

1. Planning

2. Working as team

3. Dubbing

4. Camera Handling

5. Editing

And it gives your first movie which you can see and show to Dad!!!

Its easier than any other types of  movie , short film or anything , because you don’t need someone to act out the scenes for you (its really challenging)  , you just have to ask little favors from others , and ask them what they think and just shoot that .

I will just share what we learn in these five things from our Documentary making, so that if you are shooting your first documentary this will definitely help you.

I) Planning

This is  the first and most important part , where you try to see your final outcome.

Here are 9 things that we learned from Planning

1. It starts from Topic of Documentary . And its most essential  part ,

And don’t let only one person decide what will be the topic,  choose the topic that excites all the team , if out of 4 , 3 likes the topic and one don’t , that remaining gonna cause problem , not knowingly but he will.

Trust me on this , he will definitely sleep in major phase of Editing . (I’m joking actually anything can happen someone might loose interest someone might gain)

But its always great if all you love the topic , because it’s the only thing that will keep you alive in EDITING stage.

In EDITING there would be some moments where all brains will be shut down, I’m not exaggerating.

That’s why you have to choose the topic you love and not just one you like.

2.Always decide the length of Documentary,  that will tell you while planning that how many shots and there length they suppose to have.

3. when you will have the topic , sit all the team together and list all possible shots you will love to and you will need to take.  Be more flexible , look at your list and see how much of them are pretty rare shots , don’t count on them. That’s why list more shots that have possibility of getting easily.

If you are listing shots like A specific bird seating on the something specific (monkey , tiger), how in the world you gonna make it unless your are GOD ..

List the shots that are easily available and more appropriate to the topic.

4. If your shooting something that does not depend on  natural , atmospheric events , you can create good storyboard , like

if you are visiting the Fort or something specific , when you choose the topic Rain , you cant seem to make storyboard and you have list of scenes which seems pretty rare , if you found someone who have made his first documentary on Rain  without stealing  somebody’s scenes , say him you are awesome Dude …

so storyboard will give the clear idea that how your final documentary will be .

5. Now  check the battery of your camera , how many hours it runs ?

Can you take two or more batteries , and please don’t use two different cams as it will cause problems in editing , and it will increase the complexity.

Also check the storage capacity of your camera

6. Now if  for some shots or may be for all shoot you have got only one chance , like going away  for many kms , or sometimes it just the place has only 2 or 3 hours , or you have got the permission for only 2 hours ,

You have to think of all possible options that can go wrong and make pre adjustments, don’t assume that it wont happen or you will figure out how .

7. Always remember , what you planned doesn’t happen 51% of time , I just made up the percentage , but What were you thought most of the times wont happen, you can take it positively too.

That’s why its important to take care of what can go wrong , what to do for that.

Planning saves so many times but not always , but believe me its so much fun , to shoot that you cant control.(There will be times when your camera suddenly wont save anything though it has all free disk)

8. If you are planning for the first time , decide small length of documentary like 7 or 8 mins , you may  laugh but believe me buddy you will learn the importance of 1 milisec in Editing

9. If you choose the topic that is in your city and in 10 to 15  kms radius of your home , it will save you from many  problems. Like It will free you from your storage and battery  problems of your camera,

the best advice I would like to give about the topic is that choose something rare but easily available , or choose something common but show all the uncommon and  totally different  aspects.

(You might want  to read these articles :)

Creating 1st Documentary

Making of Documentary-Part 1

Making of Documentary-Part 2

Making of Documentary-Part 3

Take care of These Points

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  1. Well, gotta say I am glad i took your advice, your blog does sounds nice, me and a couple of my friends are planning o make a mini film,(not a documentary), all of us are amateurs, but hey thats the way to learn things; some of your ideas do sound rational and although I knew them somewhere at the back of my head, i didn’t took notice until now….so thnx a million


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