Documentary Advice?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ChrisBrightwell, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm gearing (with a friend or two) to shoot and edit a documentary that will consist several terabytes of raw footage and will be edited down to six hours or so.

    That's the plan, anyway.

    Have any of you taken a stab at a project this large? I'm looking for tips on sorting and managing footage and other resources as well as any online pointers for shooting/editing documentaries.

    Any help is hugely appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #2
    I'm sure there are people here that can help you, but have you ever checked out the Creative Cow forums?

    there are some brilliant people over there and there is an indie doc forum as well as gear forums and the like.
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    6hrs is a long time. What's so interesting that it'll keep people watching for 6hrs?
    A couple of general tips:

    Organization is key. Keep detailed notes while shooting in the field and then make even more detailed notes as you log all of the footage. And threaten death to anyone that allows a timecode break. TC breaks will make organization harder and slow down the logging/digitizing process.

    Have a clear vision of the story you want to tell and never forget it. Yes docs are made in the editing bay, but if you come back from the field w/a bunch of of half baked ideas on tape and there isn't a continuous narrative thread that binds them all together you are screwed. You can cheat a lot of stuff in post but you can't make a film about Halloween if all you have is people talking about the 4th of July.


    Lethal
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    LOL!! Well, I bet you COULD, but it would suck. :)
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #5
    Well the final product is most likely going to be a collection of 1 hr "episodes."

    There will only be two camera operators and we hate timecode breaks with a passion, so that's not a problem. :)

    The hardest part will be taking notes during filming. Logging footage during capture won't be so bad, since it's a good opportunity to really itemize what's been recorded and who said it.

    That was part of the initial problem. There were so many stories to tell that we couldn't pick just one and stick to it, which is why we're creating a collection of episodes.

    I wish I could be more specific regarding scope and content, but I can't quite yet.

    Thanks for your advice. :)
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Something else I just thought of, do you (or one of your partners) have adequate and up-to-date knowledge of the legal side of things (clearances, releases, etc.,). A few weeks ago I read a story about the nightmare that the makes of Mad, Hot Ballroom went thru for music clearance. Ringtones, incidental music in the background, even some kid saying, "Everybody dance now" needed clearance. :eek: Same goes for visuals as well. Art, logos, even some buildings.

    dvinfo.net is another good forum to check out as well.


    Lethal
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    #7
    Is this non-profit, or will you be releasing this?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #8
    It'll be for sale (to help recoup some of our expenses) and will likely be released under Creative Commons or a similar license.
     

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