Documentary film-making is a non-fiction film-making style. It usually seeks to document a certain aspect of reality, for the purpose of preservation, education, and even entertainment. Documentary filmmakers commonly select a subject matter that they are passionate about. A great documentary can be made about almost any non-fiction, real-world subject. There are many instances where truth appears to be stranger and even more interesting than fiction. A lot of artists are attracted to the appeal of documentaries, Bruce Weber Photographer being one of them. While Bruce gained recognition for his photography, over the years, he has forayed into documentary film-making as well.
Bruce Weber Photographer briefly discusses the approach to follow while researching for a documentary film
Feature films and documentaries have very apparent differences. Feature films deal with fictionalized events and stories. Their key purpose is to entertain. On the other hand, documentaries exclusively deal with real life events and facts. While entertaining the audience can certainly be a goal of a documentary, they are also likely to put emphasis on informing and educating as well. However, despite their differences, both feature films and documentaries make use of cinematography and do follow a script.
Good documentary film-making requires a good deal of research, especially when it comes to providing context, narration, footage, and other visuals, and even interviews that shall appear in the movie. There are many types of research that documentary filmmakers tend to undertake. This includes academic research, archival research, and in-person interviews. The type of research needed for a certain documentary would majorly depend on its subject matter. To show actual culture, histories, events, and people, finding the right documents and people that will tell the story is pretty vital. Research is also vital for acquiring the raw material that will provide the filmmaker with the needed context to understand, interpret, and share the subject of the film. Research does play a role in how a documentary is organized and planned out as well. Much like a typical feature film, a documentary will also be organized and illustrated on a storyboard at some point. This can only happen after research. Based on the storyboard, the filmmakers additionally have to create their shot list.
Prior to undertaking the research for the documentary, one must decide the type of documentary one want to make. A documentary can be historical, biographical, or something else. After doing so, the length of the documentary has to be decided. A short documentary is typically defined as having a running time of 40 minutes or less. Such a length is a good choice for anyone making a documentary for the very first time. A feature-length documentary basically has a run time of over 40 minutes, and is more suited for seasoned filmmakers. To gain a better understanding of the type of research they might have to undertake, people can choose to watch documentaries created by Bruce Weber Photographer and other experienced artists. A number of documentaries can easily be found online.