The process of creating a documentary film, which is a film or video about a specific topic, is more commonly known as documentary video production.
A documentary is a form of non-fiction media, which is used to observe and present a topic. A documentary film is typically designed to activate the viewer’s senses through images, sound, and voice-over narration.
Documentaries are typically in the style of third-person journalism, presenting factual information about their subjects with little to no commentary or analysis, making it unique and challenging to create.
In this article, let’s look at how you can start a documentary video series for your brand, exploring examples of different documentary video styles and find out more on the processes behind Documentary video production.
The Vivid Snaps Team
Our team consists of media professional with expertise in video production from pre to post. Consisting of videographers, video editors, director, project coordinators and graphic designer. Our portfolio is focused on corporate clients. And our works ranges from internal communication videos, brand story videos, virtual & hybrid events and corporate photography.
Green Screen Studio for Corporate Filming
Our office houses a small green screen studio, suitable for filming of up to 2 on-screen talents. This is exclusively reserved for our clients, so to provide high availability and convenience when engaging our video production services.
For more reference photos of our green screen studio, please visit our Green Screen Studio Singapore blog post.
Why Create A Documentary Video Series?
Producing a compelling documentary about your company’s story can be a powerful asset that leverages and expresses the unique aspects of your business.
Documentary video series are a great way to reach a large audience. The popularity of documentary video series has increased over the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why. For many people, watching other people’s stories is more interesting than watching commercials or TV shows. This makes documentary videos an excellent marketing tool for businesses that want to attract new customers or promote their products/services.
Documentary videos can also be used as educational tools to teach past historical events or learn about new scientific insights and concepts. The audience does not need to know much about the topic to enjoy the documentary because it provides details about the topic for them, keeping their attention as they seek for more information.
What Different Documentary Video Styles Are Available?
A documentary video style would be an overarching category that a particular type of film falls under. There are several different types of styles, and it can range from science documentaries to social issues documentaries to historical documentaries. Practically anything can be a documentary video style, it can always be catered to your needs and help you convey your story in your own unique way.
Documentary Video References from Around Singapore
PLEASE NOTE: The videos referenced in this blog article are not produced by Vivid Snaps. The following videos are sourced from publicly available websites, such as YouTube.
Bank Anniversary Documentary
In this corporate documentary video, the team at Channel News Asia went down memory lane and discovered how DBS Bank started out, making influential changes to Singapore’s development, introducing consumer-centric products to the customers, benefiting everyone as a collective whole. DBS Bank continued to embrace change and began to digitize its offerings, bringing convenience and simplicity of banking to its customers.
Most documentaries show the journey of the topic from the start, to the present and potentially looking forward to the future. Your documentary could follow this format and discuss your company’s journey challenges and successes and its ambitions for the future.
Airport Architecture Documentary
In this documentary, the SAA Architects team reflects on their design processes for Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 architecture journey, how they are able to work under tight time constraints and manage to design and create a pleasant and positive traveling experience for Changi Airport commuters, putting heavy thought and a significant amount of effort on the fine details to round up the overall design to be cohesive as a whole.
Most documentaries show what challenges and obstacles people had to face that might appear and how they would overcome it as a team. Your documentary could demonstrate how you and your team managed to problem solve and deliver your product successfully to your clients or customers.
Hawker Stall Food War Documentary
In this Documentary, Apple spotlighted a long staring feud between two local hawker food stalls which emerged due to conflicts that happened within the original Tian Tian Chicken Rice establishment. This mini-documentary is one in a series of short documentaries that Apple produced about their product, the iPhone 13 Pro, showcasing its camera quality and capabilities of the smartphone.
Most documentaries could have an intended message to tell or a product to sell. Your documentary could revolve around a message or product, how it solves problems and how it could add value to the average consumer.
Photography Journey Documentary
In this documentary, photographer Darren Soh found himself driving out to remote parts of Singapore like Punggol, Lim Chu Kang and Tuas as he was seeking for the style of photography he wanted to pursue.
He discovered unusual angles and began capturing never-before-seen pictures of Singapore, which grew into a photography collection series about the constant pace of change and its rapid development in the surrounding landscape and scenery, which has been showcased over the years.
Most documentaries are not linear, but instead they jump back and forth in time. Your documentary could show progress in time and how things have changed over the years.
Local Street Food Documentary
In this documentary, the team from 101 East find out how the COVID-19 lockdown affected hawkers and food sellers around Singapore, how they personally feel about the dining restrictions affecting them, and how the hawkers overcome these challenges together with other stakeholders as a whole.
Most documentaries start with a common and relatable problem to gather peoples’ attention. Your documentary could start off with a unique problem and show the journey that you have gone through to handle the situation.
Heartland Story Documentary
In this documentary, the team from Our Grandfather Story (OGS) went to find out where many Scrap Collectors (more commonly known as karung gunis) went after the announcement of regulatory changes in 2001 which forced them to work with recycling agencies.
They also managed to liaise with one of the Scrap Dealer agencies to find out how they manage to stay in this industry, what they do, and how they intend to assist these scrap collectors whose lives are hanging by a thread.
Most documentaries do focus on something that many people may be unaware of because of a lack of information online or because it is gradually losing relevance. Your documentary may cover unusual and rarely discussed topics that people would like to learn more about and delve into.
Before You Start Creating Documentary Videos
A documentary film production does not start with the first day of filming. It starts at the pre-production stage. This means that there are a lot of things to prepare before the real action begins:
- Develop a script or outline for your documentary film – it will help you define what topics should be included in your project, how many scenes you need for each topic, who are going to be interviewed and so on.
- If you have an idea about where it will be filmed (for example at an event or some other location), contact potential partners early enough to confirm in advance.
- Set up all necessary permits – if filming will take place outside then get permission from the relevant authorities; if your crew requires access inside buildings then make sure they have correct documents issued by the building owner.
- Find sponsors – if possible try getting them involved earlier rather than later because they might not want their brand mentioned in finished product unless there’s something in return such as free advertising space or discounts on products/services offered by sponsor company
- Ask experienced colleagues on how they would do certain tasks if they were making this documentary – it may give useful tips on how best to organize resources so that everything works out smoothly during the production phase without wasting any time when shooting takes place.
Advice On Creating Documentary Videos
Before shooting the documentary, there’s a lot to think about. While we can’t teach you how to make a documentary in one blog post (or even one book), here are some tips we’ve discovered throughout the years that will help you get started:
- It’s best to write down what you want your viewers to know and feel before you start filming. Knowing your audience will help guide the direction of your video.
- Research is extremely important – especially if it is an obscure topic or individual(s). You want as much information as possible so that there isn’t any doubt behind what’s being shown on film. It also helps when creating questions during interviews!
- You do not have to strictly stick to the storyboard. Despite the fact that sticking to the main topic of the video is important, you are free to shoot anything related to the main topic at hand. Shooting something related to the main topic could help you put the puzzle together, see things from a bigger picture, and lead to something more interesting and worthy to include in your masterpiece.
Documentary filmmaking is a unique and challenging industry. There’s no way around it—a lot of work goes into making a documentary, from the initial planning stage to post-production editing. However, if you want to convey a meaningful message about your company, documentary video production may be just what you need to strengthen the important connection between your customers and clients.
Introduction of The Vivid Snaps Team
Our video filming & production crew works with clients and agencies to produce corporate videos and creative video production including documentary videos from pre-production, filming and post-production in an efficient and effective manner.
Get a Price Quotation
Some projects are straight-forward while others can be complex, drop us a message with your project requirements. Our project coordinator will get in touch with you to provide a price quotation.