This video reviews the concepts from the Documentary Planning and Pre-Production course to get the viewer up to speed. Specifically, it recaps the major highlights pertaining to the ideation, research, interview planning, production planning, and asset gathering of the Project RELO documentary shoot—and especially focuses on the current status of the film structure and plan.
- Before we get started editing the Project RELO documentary, I thought I would take the opportunity to recap the pre production and production processes. So if it's been a while since you've watched those courses, this will provide you a bit of a review on everything we've done so far. First, let's just review the story that we're trying to tell. Our client, Project RELO, is a non-profit that's trying to help solve the military veteran hiring gap in a creative way which is to team up corporate executives and veterans in exciting off road adventures.
Project RELO believes that when executives witness the veteran's leaderships in these environments they'll be motivated to change their hiring practices to include veteran outreach and recruitment programs. I had about two months in pre production to get ready for the week long shoot of Project RELO. So I began conducting lots of interpersonal research with the Project RELO team, veterans, and veteran advocates in order to learn as much as I could about Project RELO and the veteran underemployment issue.
I also performed quite a bit of written and visual research to round everything out as I was learning. Once the basic details began taking shape, I started to decide upon the main points that I wanted to explore and to create the main narrative arc of the film. Here you can see this skeleton of the film I was forming. It was becoming what I needed to accomplish in each section and how each part was going to inform and segway into the next. Getting specific with my goals allowed me to begin drafting some pre production documentation including my pitch and my proposal.
As my main points and story structure were coming along, I also began searching for the types of people that I needed to talk to in order to speak to each point. This occurred through a massive networking adventure where I identified, vetted, and lined up the various sources that would ultimately form the solid collection of 12 interview subjects for the film. I also performed pre interviews for each subject. And made sure to pre interview my main subjects in person so we could begin building a rapport before the cameras started rolling.
As I incorporated more interviewees, the film's narrative occasionally shifted a bit to accommodate the new people and stories that I was bringing in. For each interview subject, I drafted a list of customized questions and began the job of scheduling the interviews over the course of the production shoot. I drafted up detailed shot lists to plan for the film's footage needs. This involved figuring out what shots I wanted and organizing everything in terms of where, when, and how I wanted to shoot it. I began collecting non-production assets like photographs, stock footage, archival material, graphics, and more.
Once all of this had come together, it was time for the shoot and we'll talk about that next.
- Reviewing assets
- Post-production workflows
- Organizing the project
- Editing a documentary film
- Building themes and scenes
- Refining the edit
- Working with sound, color, and effects
- Gathering and incorporating feedback
- Finishing the film