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Old 05-26-2017, 10:44 PM   #1
Lucky Hardwood
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Pre-Production For Documentary

A friend and I are in the early stages of pre-pro for a feature documentary covering a very specific (and kinda disturbing) sexual fetish. Neither of us has ever made a documentary, so I am looking for tips and advice from those of you who have been down this road. We are also looking for key crew, especially sound. I look forward to your pearls of wisdom.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:18 AM   #2
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I've never made one but i starred in one.

Therefore I say ... It's all about getting the right subject (person) in front of the camera!!

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Old 05-27-2017, 01:55 AM   #3
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I've never made one but i starred in one.

Therefore I say ... It's all about getting the right subject (person) in front of the camera!!

This will involve several interviews and some demonstrations. We are still trying to figure out how to show what these people do without it coming across as porn. At the moment, I'm thinking we show B roll visual metaphors while the interviewee describes the act.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lucky Hardwood View Post
A friend and I are in the early stages of pre-pro for a feature documentary covering a very specific (and kinda disturbing) sexual fetish. Neither of us has ever made a documentary, so I am looking for tips and advice from those of you who have been down this road. We are also looking for key crew, especially sound. I look forward to your pearls of wisdom.
I'm editing one right now. It's a terrible mess. And here are the reasons why. I forgot to ask these questions. Who is my audience? What is my movie about? Why would this audience care about my movie? And, how can I make it interesting enough for them to want to share it? In other words, I didn't do my research. Find the communities that are interested in this subject matter. Listen to their conversations and interact. That will give you a clue of what your movie is about and the storyline. Good luck. And, last but not least, it gives you an audience.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:22 PM   #5
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Thanks IPD. We did those things during the research phase. I am a huge proponent of doing as much research as possible before you begin preproduction. My partner joined a number of online communities and contacted people who are into that particular fetish. She even lined up interviews and is planning a meet and greet for the more interesting members. One of our struggles is making a niche fetish, that most people's knee-jerk reaction would be revulsion, relatable. We want to treat the subject matter with care and respect, no matter how "out there" it may be.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:37 PM   #6
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good luck on your doc

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Thanks IPD. We did those things during the research phase. I am a huge proponent of doing as much research as possible before you begin preproduction. My partner joined a number of online communities and contacted people who are into that particular fetish. She even lined up interviews and is planning a meet and greet for the more interesting members. One of our struggles is making a niche fetish, that most people's knee-jerk reaction would be revulsion, relatable. We want to treat the subject matter with care and respect, no matter how "out there" it may be.

Well, Just make sure that every segment of your film makes the audience want to watch the next scene. It's all about editing in the end. Get plenty of footage, it's a documentary. Plan your story—know the ending and work backwards.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:40 AM   #7
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What I need help with are a few things.

1) What is different about shooting a documentary VS a narrative?

2) Sound Design - What challenges will we face and how to overcome them?

3) Subject Matter - How do we show the audience what the subjects do without it becoming porn?

4) Story Arc - I want the film to be more than just an introduction to this fetish, but not a how-to. How do we give the finished product a storyline?
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:04 PM   #8
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1) What is different about shooting a documentary VS a narrative?

A lot more natural light. Put subjects by windows if you can

2) Sound Design - What challenges will we face and how to overcome them?

A sound guy makes an enormous difference. Hook up the subjects with lavs and keep replacing the batteries.

3) Subject Matter - How do we show the audience what the subjects do without it becoming porn?

You can't show a sexual act without someone calling it porn. I think thats actually the definition of porn.. video or photography of a sexual act.

If you're doing a documentary on the missionary position you probably wouldn't show the action right?

4) Story Arc - I want the film to be more than just an introduction to this fetish, but not a how-to. How do we give the finished product a storyline?

What are they building to? Is there a big convention you can record people leading up to the convention and then show them all interacting with each other when they get to the national gathering.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:07 PM   #9
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Lucky, if you haven't already, watch Tickled and The Jinx. One talks about a niche fetish and the other deals with true crime. Both approach the subjects with respect and an objective viewpoint. Also, anything by Louie Theroux is great reference for a documentary in my humble opinion.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:32 PM   #10
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Thanks Sean and ZMY. I will check out those films.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:02 PM   #11
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Since the documentary is about a sexual fetish, I was curious as to what would be best to use for B-roll, in that case?
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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Since the documentary is about a sexual fetish, I was curious as to what would be best to use for B-roll, in that case?
I'm not sure about that. I was thinking of scenes from nature and industrial fabrication.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:46 PM   #13
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I'm not sure about that. I was thinking of scenes from nature and industrial fabrication.
A train going into a tunnel
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Old 06-03-2017, 06:03 PM   #14
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I'm not sure about that. I was thinking of scenes from nature and industrial fabrication.
This might cause unintentional laughs though, if the documentary is suppose to be taken seriously, or unless humor is intentional. There is a montage sequence in the Naked Gun 2 1/2 (1991), that has a lot of industrial imagery like that.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:12 PM   #15
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This is a very large part of the problem.
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