All the tips here are pret


All the tips here are pretty solid, and I would like to add a little of my own.

For a documentary, your very minimum should include a camera and a tripod, as well as some sort of external mike.

Your school’s camera isn’t bad at all, it has many features, but:
For a camera, I can also recommend the GL2. I’ve used it and the GL2 is great. It has manual audio controls, as well as a hot shoe, where you can place an XLR adapter (for your external mike). The GL2 also has a 1/8 mike input, for a lower quality microphone. It also features manual exposure controls, so you can set up a nice depth of field for interviews, or any other dramatic shots.

For a mike, a lav mike is the typical mike for documentaries, but, in my opinion, a boom mike would be a better investment. With a boom mike, you can get about the same quality audio from interviews, as also use your boom mike for other scenes as well, where a lav. mike wouldn’t suffice. With a lav. mike, however, you don’t need another person holding up the boom.

Here’s another tip. For the interviews, zoom in. A wideshot distorts people’s faces, while a telephoto gives a much more pleasant image.
If your school has lights, use the 3-point lighting technique as well.

Hope some of this helps, and good luck with your documentary.

Spencer Stewart

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