I never would have imagined how difficult it was to learn all of the elements of creating a documentary until I was submerged into it these past three day of preparation for our departure. We have been learning our way around a camera, the significance of sound, and everything in between to enhance our knowledge of the fundamentals of videography.
To preface the difficulties that go into making a documentary, there are two elements to creating a film we are utilizing: interviews of people who relate to our story, as well as footage of objects, information, or settings that correlate and enhance our storytelling, which is also known as b-roll.
Both methods include setting up a tripod, adjusting the ISO, white balance, and aperture. In filming an interview, a second camera must be set up with sound attachments to pick up every critical word the interviewee says. As I learned today in class, sound is everything and it can make or break a film. Is your head swimming? Mine undoubtedly was.
While this may be a lot of information to digest in a few short days, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed learning something more. I just completed my second year of undergraduate studies and I will admit I have felt the most joy in what I was learning and a much greater anticipation for class within this week than the two previous years of my college studies.
I hope that gives you an indication as to how important all of these elements are to me and to journalists using any form of media to tell a story. Anyone can plop a camera down in the middle of a setting or put it right in someone’s face, and anyone manage to piece together the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet to explain something, but journalism is a characteristically unique kind of storytelling. These stories and the methods in which to tell them are complex and can be challenging, but so unbelievably rewarding in the end.