Television news footage is notoriously expensive to license for indie documentary filmmakers. And it can be hard to license too. In this article, we’ll go over the basic process to license TV news footage for a documentary film and we’ll also break down the costs involved. Let’s jump in! HowRead More →

how to make a documentary film

Making a documentary is different from making a fictional film but it’s not necessarily “less work because you’re just capturing real life.” What beginning or aspiring documentary filmmakers may not know is that documentary films often have scripts and involve tons of research, substantial budgets, and complex editing. In thisRead More →

How to write a documentary script

Many people assume that since documentary films are “supposed to be real life” they don’t have scripts. But in reality, almost every type of film has some kind of script, either for planning purposes before shooting, for organization purposes during editing, or to communicate with team members about what theRead More →

documentary film distribution how to

So, you’ve made a short documentary. Congratulations. Now, how can you get people to watch your film? The most obvious idea is probably to throw it up on YouTube or Vimeo, post the link on Facebook and hope it goes viral. But we’ve got some more sophisticated ideas. Check outRead More →

how to mic sit down interviews

Getting great sound for documentary style sit down interviews is extremely important and if you’re reading this article you’ve probably already realized that on-board (on camera) microphones just don’t cut it. Generally speaking there are two common ways to mic a documentary interview: either with a lavalier microphone (skip downRead More →

how to shoot a white background video

Videos with white backgrounds are a popular aesthetic choice that’s clean and simple. It used to take a movie studio to film a scene with a white background like in the Hollywood movie “The Matrix” or as seen in Apple commercials. But shooting a video with a white background isRead More →

how to distribute a film online

Making a batch of 1,000 DVDs or Blu-Rays isn’t always cost-effective for low budget documentaries unless you’re sure that you can sell them all. But distributing your film online can cost next to nothing– if you choose an option that doesn’t have a setup fee or an annual fee (whichRead More →

how to make a low budget documentary film

Photo credit Documentary filmmaking can be quite expensive: budgets can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for a feature-length documentary. If you’re interested in making a low budget documentary film, especially if you’ve never made one before, you’ll need to spend wisely and count every penny. 10 LowRead More →