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Filming a Documentary: Shooting

In order to achieve our goal, it will be important to capture each word that our subject speaks and each note our subject plays. Based on my years of experience as a musician, small, enclosed spaces such as a practice room or recoding studio work well. Large, open spaces, such as a classroom, do not.

I have spoken with Mr. Wheeler, and he has given us permission to use the practice rooms for filming when they are available. He also told me that the music department has a podcast that explores the same topic- "How I Chose My Instrument". You may want to check it out to get more ideas for your documentary.

As some of you learned from Video Project One, short segments of video work best. Long segments don't work at all. Best practice for this project is to shoot a short segment, upload it to WeVideo, and then shoot another segment.

shooting orientation


  • Shoot your video in landscape orientation, as per the diagram on the left.
  • Shoot your video in small segments- remember, larger files will not travel well from your phone to the Internet.
  • Encourage your subject to give short, clear answer, and to stay on topic.
  • Stay close to your subject- within three feet. Phones and tablets will give the best results with close-ups. Medium range shots will give somewhat acceptable results. Long-range shots rarely work.


Project Navigation:
Home | Planning | Scripting | Storyboarding | Shooting | Compiling and Editing | Publishing