- Eric Temple
How to make a great documentary
Updated: Feb 3
There are several key factors that can make a great documentary:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.