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  • Eric Temple

How to make a great documentary

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

There are several key factors that can make a great documentary:

  1. Authenticity: A good documentary should be authentic and true to the subject matter. It should accurately represent the events and people depicted in the film.

  2. Engaging storytelling: A good documentary should be able to capture the audience's attention and hold it throughout the film. It should be well-structured, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and should use storytelling techniques like pacing, imagery, and sound effectively to keep the audience engaged.

  3. Interesting subject matter: A good documentary should be about a subject that is interesting and relevant to its target audience. It should be able to provide new insights or perspectives on the topic and leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

  4. Emotional impact: A good documentary should be able to evoke an emotional response from the audience. It should be able to make the viewer feel something, whether it's sadness, joy, anger, or inspiration.

  5. A clear message: A good documentary should have a clear message or purpose. It should be able to communicate the filmmaker's point of view or perspective on the subject matter in a compelling way.

  6. Quality of production: A good documentary should have high-quality production values, such as good sound, lighting, and camera work. It should be visually appealing and easy to understand.

  7. Originality: A good documentary should be original and stand out from other films in the same genre. It should be able to offer a unique perspective and not just repeat what other documentaries have already covered.

  8. Ethical considerations: A good documentary should be made ethically, respecting the rights and dignity of the people involved, and not exploiting the subjects.

It's worth noting that what makes a documentary good is a matter of opinion and can vary depending on the audience, but generally, a good documentary is one that is able to inform, educate, and entertain its audience, while leaving a lasting impact on them.

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