Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › VIDEO VS DOCUMENTARY › First: speaking technicall
First: speaking technically, video is moving images that are not shot on film. Video can be shot on MiniDV, hard drive, flash memory, etc. The technical difference between video and film is what the moving images are recorded on.
The term video has come to mean any set of moving images used to tell a story. In that sense, all sets of moving images are video. Whether we’re speaking of a dramatic film, a music video, a documentary, a commercial, or anything else; they can all be referred to as videos.) So, unless you’re talking about what kind of material a camera is recording to, the words video and film are usually interchangeable.
Maybe you are asking about the difference between a documentary and a narrative drama. With reference to storytelling style, a documentary usally features interviews, first-hand footage, and data/information. Documentaries are more like textbooks.
Dramatic (or narrative) videos/films tend to be like novels. They may be fiction or non-fiction, but they all have actors and actresses playing roles.
This all can be a little confusing when, for example, a music video is shot on film. Do we call it a film or a video. Usually “a film” referrs to a feature length production, but can also be used in the context of a “short film.” A film does not need to have been shot on film to be a film. A film could be shot on video (on digital tape or hard drive) and still be called a film.
Hopefully this clears some things up!