It’s time to ‘start a documentary’ filmmaking business on a low budget
Many filmmakers and creative people like us have always wondered how to make a documentary.
The first step in creating your own documentary filmmaking business is finding your niche.
If you are passionate about history or politics, then it would be easy for you to start making documentaries on these topics.
However, if it’s not your subject matter, then why not go deeper into research? Peruse books regarding those matters and attempt to figure out what makes them so attractive for people such as yourself who need to study them more deeply.
When shooting outdoors, you need to be aware of the following:
- Good sound. You might be enticed to utilize your cell phone or a cheap digital camera for an outdoor shoot, but don’t underestimate the importance of getting good sound.
Just because you’re filming outdoors doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality for convenience.
- Good lighting. The same goes for lighting—you’ll want to ensure that your subject is well lit so that they look as good as possible on screen.
While natural sunlight may sometimes work in your favor (especially if there’s some cloud cover), it’s best to bring along some artificial lights if you can afford them.
If all else fails and natural light won’t suffice for whatever reason, then consider renting some equipment from a professional who knows what they are doing when it comes down to setting up lighting equipment properly;
otherwise, try using reflectors instead – they’re more accessible and cheaper alternatives which still work fine most times anyway.
- Good footage. This one might seem obvious, but remember: don’t rush through shots when filming outdoors – take time over each one so that everything is perfect before moving on to something else.
B-rolls (Beginning Of Every New Phase)
B-rolls are supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. B-rolls can be used to illustrate a point, and they are used to make the documentary more exciting and visually appealing.
B-rolls aren’t just for documentaries; you can use them in other types of videos, such as commercials and corporate videos.
Interviews Of Witnesses, Victims & Informers
Talking to people is the most crucial part of any documentary. Your subject matter, your story, and your audience will be directly affected by who you’re talking to.
They will be the ones with the first-hand knowledge or experience that will help make your film great.
If you’re working on a meager budget or don’t have access to interview people in person, phone interviews can be just as good as personal interviews.
It all depends on what type of story you want to tell and how much time and money you have at your disposal.
You can also conduct interviews over video chat services such as Skype or Google Hangouts if you don’t have anyone nearby that has something interesting for an interviewee.
- Use the internet to find blog sites and videos that will help in the filmmaking business.
Begin by doing a Google search that incorporates “documentary filmmaking.” Make sure you’re using keywords relevant to your topic so that you get results from individuals who have been doing business for quite a while.
- Use reputable websites with lots of followers or subscribers as references. You could also go through their archives or backlinks to find other related blogs or websites.
- Network- connect with people on social media. If you have a blog or website, use it as a tool for connecting with others through different virtual entertainment stages like Facebook and Twitter.
- It would be best if you made connections with your target audience, so you can market your documentary once it’s finished and released.
Travel To Capture More Shots Of Objects & Subjects
Making a documentary is as challenging as making a film. You must plan to record A-rolls, B-rolls, and other shots to emphasize more on the objects and subjects more. These make documentaries more real and engaging for viewers to continue watching.
Traveling to a remote location can be a great way to save money, especially if you want to film in an exotic area.
For example, traveling across the country or around the world will be much cheaper than filming in your local area.
You could also look into staying at hostels if you’re traveling alone as this can be one of the cheapest options for accommodation.
You should likewise consider using public transport wherever possible since it tends to be cheaper and often more convenient than driving around.
If possible, try avoiding expensive meals while traveling as well; instead, opt for food that’s easy on your wallet and good enough for filming purposes.
If you have access to some basic cooking facilities, cook up some excellent dishes at home before heading out so that you can save money while still eating well during your trip.
The Earlier The Better
Now that you’ve known how to start a documentary, now is the time to execute your first action. A continuous effort will expedient the speed of documenting a film. Sometimes, a small gap brings better ideas to make your documentary more interesting. However, starting sooner is better than procrastinating.
You’re probably familiar with how to do this already: use your smartphone to film and edit, market on social media, and earn money through making videos for clients.
But did you know that using your phone is also a great way to get better at filmmaking?
Even if you don’t want to turn professional yet, it will help your skills improve quickly when you practice regularly.
And the better your skills are, the more likely people will hire you for work or even give backlinks (which help SEO).
YouTube is the most famous video-sharing stage on the planet and has some of the biggest audiences.
It’s likewise an extraordinary wellspring of income for documentary filmmakers. If you upload your documentary on YouTube, you can make money from it through advertising and annotations/end cards.
You can also use YouTube’s algorithms to improve its visibility so that more people see your documentary.
The following things will help you start a documentary filmmaking business on a low budget.
- Conducting Market research. -This involves gathering information that will help develop an effective marketing strategy that will allow you to reach more people
- Decide which specific equipment will help capture these scenes: camera, Microphones, and lights.
It would be best if you bought used equipment that is easy to store and transport, as well as replace.
- Lastly, it is essential to have a budget in addition to a marketing strategy to guide your business and ensure success.
Documentary filmmaking is possible on any budget
You can make a documentary with no money, or you can make one with a bit of money. You needn’t bother with being rich or notable for recounting a story worth telling.
- Get grants and donations from foundations, universities, museums, and corporations – foundations are perfect for this since they’re interested in the public good of your project. Some of them even have grant programs just for filmmakers.
- Build equipment yourself — not only will it save you money upfront, but you might also learn some new skills along the way.
- Make deals with others for services in exchange for the project and future work credit.
Conclusion: Start a Documentary Making Business
While the world of documentary filmmaking is full of possibilities, it can be daunting for new filmmakers.
This article has given you a couple of supportive tips for getting started. Still, ultimately if you want to succeed in this industry, it all comes down to hard work, determination, and perseverance. Good luck.