Coordinate cameras and crew to tell a true story on film.
What does a Documentary Filmmaker do?
Understanding world issues through visual expression is the underlying talent of a Documentary Filmmaker. As a Filmmaker, you are a storyteller. You take the viewer on a meaningful journey of fact and awareness.
Your story as a Documentary Filmmaker may be a personal one: life as a young army recruit deployed to Afghanistan, or one that follows the ups and downs of a wannabe Country Singer. It could also be a larger social commentary; or, as is common, something that is both. But whatever your focus, your work as a Documentary Filmmaker is different than short, analytical TV news. You have the opportunity to voice a complete story with a beginning, middle and an end.
The two greatest hurdles you will face is pulling together the necessary crew to make your film and getting your hands on the much needed funding to finance it. Saying that, there are several ways to seek funding; through production companies, network stations (such as the Discovery and Travel Channel), and private investors. Foundations may also fund your choice of topic if it coincides with their charity of interest.
Your working day will differ on a daily basis. Some days you will research your subject, other days you will conduct an interview or direct a shoot. And then there will come the grand finale when you will spend your days editing footage, and bringing your story to life.
A standout Documentary Filmmaker possesses a strong visual eye, excellent observation skills, creative writing, and the gift of the gab when it comes to storytelling.