As with longer form documentary films, mini documentaries are intended to document some facet of real life and can be used to provide instruction on a process, to educate viewers on a subject or to simply record an important event. Mini documentaries typically run between two to 25 minutes and have the advantage of being able to be produced on a limited budget.
However, although mini documentaries are intended to record real life events, the production of these videos is more complex and involved than simply pointing and shooting a video camera. Successful mini documentaries still provide a narrative, and as with any type of film, these videos must follow a clear structure in order for the film to have a coherent narrative structure and for the viewers to understand the mini documentary’s message. By preparing and organizing before shooting any footage and by keeping sight of the goal of the video, filmmakers will be able to produce high-quality mini documentaries that engage and appeal to viewers.
Like all documentary films, mini documentaries are designed to tell the story of a particular event, person or other aspect of real life. Being clear from the beginning of your project on the important information to include, footage and shots to highlight and people to interview will streamline the production process and ensure that your film tells the story you intend it to.
While documentaries may not have a fully pre-written script as fictional films do, a successful mini documentary will still follow a clear outline to make certain that the video conforms to proper structure with an introduction, exposition and conclusion and to ensure that the message of the film is intelligible.
Because much of the substance of a mini documentary consists of unscripted interviews and other footage, it is easy for the message of the film to become muddled and unclear. One of the key steps in mini documentary video production involves the editing your footage to follow your original outline while maintaining the honesty and integrity of the content.
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