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Transcript

start

THE INS AND OUTS OF

SHORT DOCS

index

EDITING

SCRIPTS

B-ROLL

STORY STRUCTURE

INTERVIEW TIPS

FINDING SOURCES

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

FINDING A STORY

What to look for

Finding Stories

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

People are always the heart of the story. Always.

  • A farmer who lost his crops to drought and wildfires
  • A scientist who witnessed a polar bear stranded on a melting chunk of ice
  • A mother in Florida who was forced to leave her home because of rising sea levels
  • An oil company executive whose industry is threatened by the increased demand for clean energy

Example Story: Climate Change

So how do you find these people?

Finding Sources

+ man on the street

+ ai

+ local directories

+ search

Finding Sources

Interview Tips

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

Know what you're going to ask and why (insgiht, emotion, etc.)

#1

Ask open-ended questions (ones that can't be answered with 'yes' or 'no')

Find a good location. Comfortable, relevant and quiet.

Be quiet! Nod or smile instead of saying "yeah"or "uh-huh"

Ask a warmup question

#6

#4

#5

#2

#3

Be honest with your subject about the purpose of the interview

Interview Tips

Ask for definitions

#7

Stay quiet for a moment after each answer

Avoid leading questions

Don't stop recording immediately at the end

Maintain eye contact

#12

#10

#11

#8

#9

Ask for background info

Interview Tips

The formula for great docs

Story Structure

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

CONCLUSION (BACK TO THE PERSONAL STORY)

THE MAIN FACTS (BACKGROUND, CONTEXT, SIGNIFICANCE)

CLIMAX (PEAK EMOTION, CONFLICT)

HOOK (PERSONAL STORY)

THE ANECDOTAL LEAD STRUCTURE

The Kids Being Trained and Armed to Fight Mexican Cartels

EXAMPLES

This Loophole Makes Most Americans Susceptible to Government Surveillance

EXAMPLES

Tips for getting great footage

B-ROLL

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

Capture movement, but don't move the camera

Hold each shot for at least 10 seconds

+ example

Plan ahead! Get a variety of shots (wide, medium, tight) and angles.

SHOOT FOR SEQUENCES

Writing for narration

Scripts

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

+ active voice

+ present tense

+ clear, concise

FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD SCRIPTS

Coming Soon...

Editing Your Video

SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

Using AI to Find Sources

Be specific! Keep it local, mention that you're an 8th grader, explain the purpose of the interviews.Ask for a mix of people: experts, witnesses, and "everyday" people who have been affected by the issue.Ask AI to create a table. Tables help organize your information and save you time and effort.

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GOOD:

BAD:

Climate change, which is a phenomenon that is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that trap heat and warm the planet, and that has many negative impacts on the environment and human society, such as rising sea levels, melting glaciers, extreme weather events, droughts, floods, wildfires, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, health problems, and conflicts, is a serious and urgent problem that needs to be addressed by various stakeholders, such as governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals, who need to collaborate and implement effective strategies, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, switching to renewable energy sources, planting trees, conserving water, adapting to the changing conditions, and raising awareness.

Greenhouse gases warm the planet. They change the climate. This hurts the environment and the people who live in it. Climate change makes the sea rise, the ice melt, the land dry, the crops fail, the animals die, the diseases spread, and the wars start. We need to stop climate change.