Want To Make a Documentary Film? Here is Some Insight For You!

By Brittany Carragher

Photo: Tess McBride/google images – CC

The idea of making a documentary film fascinates me. Making my own documentary is one of my many goals in life. I write potential movie concepts in my journal. It is starting the actual film that might just be the hardest part. There are many things to consider while making your very first documentary and I don’t want to produce anything that I am not proud of.

First time film maker, Katherine Fairfax Wright, recently premiered her movie “Call Me Kuchu.” “Kuchu,” is set in Uganda’s LGBT community. The film focuses on David Kato, a veteran activist.

Wright participated in an interview to help others gain insight into the film making field. Here is what she said:

 “Once we were in Uganda, it was just madness. We were shooting from seven in the morning until like 8pm everyday. So that first trip, it was more about content and not so much about style. I think that dynamic was very important for us, too. Once we did have another person working with us and it totally changed the dynamic. I didn’t like it at all. Although it was easier, I think there was something about the intimacy of it being the two of us day in and day out made all the difference.”

Many things need to be figured out before you start filming. Wright’s personal experience has encouraged me to consider all of the factors of film making, things like style, crew dynamic, and financial grants.

There needs to be filming equipment, sound equipment, and hard-drives. Of course these accessaries all cost money, so funding is something major to consider.

The style of the film is important as well. How will the movie be shot? What is the driving message behind the film?

Also, who will help with the filming? A large crew would make things easier, but a team of two would provide intimate footage. I know I would want my film to be a small collaboration with one or two other people at most.

Good luck on the journey to film making!


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