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Documentary Storytelling, 2nd Edition by Sheila Curran Bernard

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4

Approach

If you gave any group of filmmakers some gear and the same general story, you’d end up with films that were very different in style, tone, point of view, focus, and more. These differences describe the approach: how you present a story on screen. Do you intend to create a half-hour special or a 10-hour series? Is your tone humorous? What production elements will you use, such as live shooting, recreations, a narrator, time-lapse photography, or animation?

It’s helpful to begin thinking about your approach almost as soon as you come up with a subject or story that interests you. If you’ve become passionately interested in an 18th century battle, for example, you’ll need to think about how to visualize the story, which occurred before ...

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