Documentary Filmmaking Techniques

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When filming a documentary, it's important to be as unobtrusive as possible, and to simply use a camera to provoke subjects. Find out why documentary films have become popular in recent years with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Jared Drake and I'm going to talk to you about various documentary film making techniques. Documentaries go through all different forms from being just the fly on the wall and just having a camera that just watches a relationship or story unfold on a series of months or years and then it has come together to tell that story with a fly on the wall approach. They say it is very unobtrusive, trying to be as unobjective as possible. The cinema variety style kind of came with the French new wave and that was much more like a naturalistic approach combined by using the camera to provoke subjects meaning it was, a lot of times it was hand held, it was very rough, it was very rugged and this gave it a real feel. That is kind of the predecessor of reality TV and all the hand held work that you see now on feature films. You can tell a story with a documentary, you can tell a person that you are gong to train for the Olympics. You can recount a story meaning you can go back, you can report on a guy that thinks he is on Alien in the 1940's and talk to that guy's friends and family that are living today, try and recount that story. Aaron Morris with "The Thin Blue Line" he was one of the first people to set up reenactment of an event that had taken place and so although the reenactments are staged he is documenting on an event that did happen all of it being from his point of view of how he sees it unfolding by staging the reenactment and choosing where to put certain elements such as how to shoot it, that person is imposing their point of view on the issue. You know documentary film making has become very popular in the last couple of years. In the last ten years especially with Michael Moore he is was the one who really popularized documentaries and film studios now and more than ever realized that there is a real tangible market for documentary films out there and because most of them shot on video for nothing and they have been much of a labor of love we can scoop them up for a small price and make millions off of it so there are many different approaches to making a documentary film and it all just goes back to the story and the subject matter and how you want to tell that story and capture it.


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