Short film documentaries are exactly what they sound like; short documentaries. They are typically the length of a music video, about two to three minutes.
Most creators and audiences these days prefer short film video documentaries. This is because they can still convey a strong message with the upside of keeping viewers' attention that may not want to commit to a longer documentary.
It is no secret that the current and emerging generations of people have short attention spans, especially regarding technology and content. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means content creators must adjust accordingly to retain a decent audience.
Now, worry not if you are a beginner in the film or video creation niche and feel a little misplaced about creating your short-form documentary! You can research the most talked about the personality of the town- Jaren Hayman to get the best practices in hand.
Let’s follow some rules to get the best results. Here we go!
An Outline Is A Must
The primary thing you need to do before beginning any project is to create an outline. Try to create it as detailed as possible, so you’re clear about the direction from the beginning. Many creators enlist the help of vision boards to map out their ideas and see what works.
Ideally, it would be adequate to have the tone, messaging, direction, and ‘plot’ mapped out before filming. Many creators mistake taking raw content and editing it according to a specific tone in post-production.
Pro-Tip* While this may work for some, as a beginner, you should have a general idea beforehand so it translates more clearly in your content.
Don’t Wait For Exposition
Yes, traditional documentaries are known for drawn-out and slow-burn expositions. But with shorter documentaries, you are also short on time. So, don't wait to give the exposition to your audience. If you can, jump straight to the point.
Your audience should quickly understand why they must care about your documentary and watch it until the end. They are likely to click off if you don't grab their attention.
Sense Of Humour Is Essential
You might have only five minutes to establish the kind of sense of humor that you are okay with. So, go for it right from the top! Nothing disarms viewers more than a well-timed joke or two at your own expense.
Pro-Tip* Start mastering the art of self-effacement and see how your efforts will bring you fruitful results.
Put Story In Context
You don't necessarily have to know the larger context for your story from the get-go. In fact, there are aspects you'll almost certainly discover in shaping the film. Even you can take insights into the work of one of the best short film directors in Toronto. But it is something you should be mulling from the beginning since it informs much of what you'll end up shooting.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow the above rules and get the best results in no time. All the best for your next short film documentary!!