Project: 3 - Short Documentary (4-6 min film)

Project 3 - Research and Make a documentary film short (Max 6 mins) (group task) 10 x 90 min workshops plus HW
Explanation: Students work in teams to research and make short documentary film. Students need to research, plan, record and edit their films. Groups are encouraged to find subjects they are interested in as starting points for their projects. Participating teachers and schools can adapt this Projectto enable the film projects to fit with other curricular needs the schools have.

Finding the right topic for your film is crucial to the success of your project and the enjoyment you will have making it. Repeat the following three steps until you are confident, as a group, you have good answers to the questions about a community, person, place, trend or problem that you want to research and make a short documentary film about. 


Step 1 - Q1 What do we care about?

“If you want to make documentaries go out and film the thing that you are passionate about”

Daisy Asquith - award winning Documentary film-maker.

Individually write down a list of things that you care about and then share and discuss the lists within your group. Identify some shared areas of interest.


Step 2 -  Q2 What do we want to say?

“A documentary film should try to address an important question - it should express an idea, a worldview, an observation about the subject that filmmakers really want to express to the audience” Col Spector - Filmmaker

(a) What might the theme, message or idea of our film be? (b) What research and filming can we do to support this idea? 


Step 3 - Q3 Is our project practical?

“The most common mistake I saw groups make last year in VISLI was not asking ‘Is this idea practical?’ or ‘Can we actually make this film?’” Colin Campbell - VISLI Workshop Leader

(a) What/ who might be in our film? (b) Do we have the time and resources to access that person/ place/ community?