What is a documentary?
Watch a documentary. Your teacher will show you an example, so you can understand the general approach, style and tone that are used.
Have a look at the Film Street website. This has useful information about how to make a film or a documentary.
Find out about storyboarding. This will help you to plan and structure your documentary. Have a look at the AccessArt website. This helps you to understand the purpose of a storyboard and how to tackle making one.
The Scottish Screen Archive is part of the National Library of Scotland. Have a look at their website to see some examples of documentary films that were made in the early 20th century - at the time of the women's suffrage campaign. Source 59 is an early example of a film documentary. It focuses on daily life in a field hospital during the First World War.
What to do first
Form a documentary team and discuss and agree who is doing what. You need a researcher, scriptwriter, director, presenter / interviewer, actors (if you want them) and camera / production crew. If you're not sure what these people do, ask your teacher to explain.
The following teachers will help you with different parts of the documentary and will support you throughout the project.
- History teacher (research)
- English teacher (script)
- Drama teacher (producing the documentary)
- Discuss and plan your project and your timescales with them. Who needs to do what, and by when?