5 SIMPLE DOCUMENTARY FILM MISTAKES TO AVOID IN YOUR FILM CAREER


Creating a documentary for the first time can be an awesome experience. It is a chance for you to let your creative juices flow while starting your film career. Plus, it looks great on a resume. It can take some time to make the perfect documentary. However, there are some things that people tend to do that are simple documentary film mistakes. And, it’s those mistakes that we’re examining today here on the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Blog.

5 AVOIDABLE, COMMON DOCUMENTARY FILM MISTAKES

Some of the common documentary film mistakes are frequently made by new filmmakers. Here are five that you can avoid from the very beginning of your documentary film making career:

1. NOT HAVING A REAL QUESTION

If you decide that you want to film your own documentary, you have to realize what it is you want your audience to get from it. If you go into it with no real question to answer, your documentary can end up being meaningless. Documentaries are supposed to have meaning. Ask yourself this before you start: “What issue or view am I addressing?”

2. NOT PICKING A GOOD SUBJECT

Before you start filming your documentary, you need to think about the subject. Is the topic going to interest others? Are there films similar to it out there? You need to take your time and analyze the topic before you start filming. If you are unsure on whether a film topic is interesting, try asking some friends.

3. NOT PLANNING AND PREPPING

If you have ever witnessed a bad documentary, you know how sometimes you can tell the director put no effort into filming. You do not want your film to take on this appearance. One of the more common documentary film mistakes people make is thinking content alone is enough to see the film through to the end. You need to plan and prepare before you begin to ensure an interesting topic that will engross your audience.

4. USING BAD MUSIC

Many documentary film mistakes involve the director using terrible music throughout the film. The music, or the soundtrack, of your documentary helps to set its tone. You do not want to be one of the documentary film directors who becomes known for terribly cheesy music soundtracks.

5. HAVING NO CLEAR VISION

You can tell the difference between someone who cares about their craft and a director who doesn’t. It is obvious when you see a film made by someone who does not care about the topic. That’s why you need to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Not having this vision could result in the documentary film failing.

GET AN EDUCATION IN FILM MAKING

If you want to be a documentary filmmaker, you need to decide how to advance your career. One option involves going to film school to learn more about the craft. Having the additional knowledge and meeting new people are two of the great benefits you stand to gain when you go to film school.

Learn how to avoid these common documentary film mistakes and many more from the instructors at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Check out some of the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Graduate Spotlights to find out what others gained from the program of Film and Video Production.