Amateur Documentary Film Making Tips

Jul 29, 2022 | Art, Articles, Media, Technology

A clear plan of action
You must be very clear as to what the subject of your film would be. This is a subject you must be familiar with to some extent, through reading, observing or watching something related to it in other films. It is important to find that niche as that will them give you the direction you must take when you start your research on it. Research plays a very important role in all kinds of creative endeavors, but even more so in film making, especially documentaries, because unlike movies, documentaries need to be based on facts.

Learn about and acquire equipment
You should have some basic idea about the equipment that you will require for film making. Start with only what is an absolute must. As you go along, you will learn what others to add. A simple list for beginners would be camcorder, microphone, lighting, tripod stands and preferably a computer with film editing software.

Assess professional angles to get the perfect shot
Do some experimenting to find the most effective angles to place the shot. Film making is a technique which you will acquire over a period of time.

Once you have completed the shots you need to use a computer to put it all together. Editing is a very important feature in film making. Learn the importance of timing, pauses, continuity and blending in filmmaking. Watch other slick editing work by professional filmmakers to learn about these.

Once your documentary is ready, you will need an audience to watch your creation. An online audience is a great place to start. There are plenty of amateur film makers’ video sharing websites. Once you gain an established audience who like your work, you can go on to other platforms to market your film.

Armed with these tips you should be able to do a good job of making documentary film making. However, here are some further elements that can help you further to be good in this field:

Once you have got familiar with filmmaking techniques and have also produced some documentaries, you will need to focus a little more to get a clear vision of what you want to do. You need to ask yourself where the next film is going to be used. Is your goal a theatre release or would you like to try and sell it to a national broadcaster. If it has high educational value, it may be sold to schools. Lack of finances can be a real issue for amateurs. Try to go beyond a camcorder. Some simple equipment like lamps and microphones can be excellent one time investments which can really pay off when you produce documentaries with proper sound and light.

Understand the importance of a film trailer. A trailer can be used to generate finances, garner support and create publicity. When there are interviews in the documentary, an amateur tends to go overboard with the number of interviews. You may film as many interviews as you can, but when you are putting them all together, let only those remain which have an important bearing in the story. Too many interviews can confuse the audience or bore them.

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Thomas B.