What makes a good documentary?

Let’s face it; documentaries are fantastic and addictive to watch. There are however too many documentaries that cover irrelevant subjects and that make you wonder why you spend a half an hour of your precious time waiting for the gripping stuff that was never filmed or displayed. A documentary should be informative or hard-hitting. People mostly watch documentaries to learn about something or to be shocked by some occurrence that they knew nothing about. Unfortunately with the internet and various video hubs a lot of aspiring documentary filmmakers tend to publish nonsense. Here are a few elements of a good documentary according to the experts.

First and foremost, choose an interesting subject

Yes, you can make a film about the life of a toothbrush but will that be interesting to anyone else? Take time to decide on a great subject that will motivate people to watch your creation. You don’t necessarily have to target the world but at least focus on targeting a large percentage of the viewing audience. The things that you find interesting might not interest everyone else.

What makes a good documentary?

Good and relevant interviews

Most documentaries need a few good interviews with reliable sources to make the content more believable. This isn’t fiction or a movie so it should be factual and therefore contain a few good interviews that are informative and engaging.

The right equipment

Most documentary fans prefer seeing good quality filming. Get the best equipment you can in order to make the scenes more realistic and to create a better viewing experience for your audience. There is nothing worse than watching a documentary and not being able to make out what is happening on the screen.  Click here for great filming equipment on a budget.

Stick to subject matter

Don’t veer off the path too much, rather stick to your chosen subject. For example making a film about physical re-invention which may include fashion sense, hairstyles and the men’s best shaver options should not include a soliloquy about music taste and books to read. To make a greater impact with your film focus on the subject and expose everything you can about it.

Still images

It is great to use still images in your documentary but try and keep it controlled. To paint a picture of the message that you are trying to get across is great with the help of still images. There are however documentaries that include almost no live footage and just images. This is not a good balance and won’t make your documentary as gripping as it should be.

Use advice from the experts

There are so many fantastic documentary filmmakers that are generous with their advice and guidelines for aspiring filmmakers. The internet is a great source of information and will provide you with tips that might make a big difference to the success of your documentary. If you are new at something it is always good to learn from veterans and perhaps one day share the knowledge that you have gained. Click here for tips from the experts.

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