Today's digital documentaries were born out of a decades-long process of simplifying filming and editing. Digital filmmaking has become much more accessible and personal due to the popularity of consumer camcorders. Documentary films that had been heavily scripted and shot with hard-to-use cameras evolved with the dawn of directors like D. A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock, and the Maysles Brothers. In the 1960s and 1970s, they used compact and relatively lightweight 16mm cameras and smaller crews. They filmed the events observationally rather than following a pre-conceived script and anticipated the practice of shooting with high footage-to-final length ratios. Twelve episodes of Craig Gilbert's "An American Family" (that led the way for MTV's Real World and other reality series) and Frederick Wiseman's films were shot similarly without scripts making use of small crews, 16mm film, and hundreds of hours of footage taken over long periods of time. The documentary format is increasingly distinguished from journalism by the artistic ambitions of the filmmakers and the investment of time devoted to fieldwork. Ross McElwee's first-person documentaries, such as his popular 1985 film Sherman's March, presaged the rise of home video making. McElwee captured the film with a 16mm camera while recording the sound with a reel tape recorder. He was, indeed, a "one-man crew" doing both camera and audio.
Manifesto Dogma 95, created by Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg in 1995, spoke out against the addition of lighting and other non-naturalistic techniques in feature films. Their ideas dovetail perfectly with the ability of camcorders, DSLRs, and cell phones to record video in natural, low-light environments. The rise of ultra-low budget (or no-budget) video has allowed personal expression to become almost completely limitless, akin to the work of George Kuchar.
Ethnographic documentaries also started to make use of low-budget videos to portray off-the-beaten-path communities. Louis Hock's 1986 documentary "The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law" is one early example. Camcorders and cellphones have also been used by activists, journalists, and citizens, as well as issue-oriented documentary makers. Popular and revolutionary movements across the globe are documented through digital video.
There's a lot to admire about one-hour documentaries and well-produced feature films. However, there are so many untold stories that would make for great movies, and there's not enough production funding to pay for them. Small, inexpensive camcorders, DSLR cameras, and cell phones allow the solo videographer to get into a short film without waiting to rake in thousands of dollars. At our documentary production house, we believe the visual storytelling technique leads to good technical quality and engaging storytelling by leveraging the camera's inherent strengths of proximity, showing rather than telling, and filming to edit.
Proximity suggests to the viewer that we as one of the top documentary production houses have the consent and cooperation of the person we are recording. An audience may not think about consent while watching the film, but they will react and have a better view of the characters if we shoot close to them. In addition, the sound and picture quality is better when the camera is positioned close to the subject; the camera picks up details better, images are less shaky, and the microphone picks up sound more clearly. To show rather than to tell is to make the documentary, above all, visual. We can visually establish location, relationships, story transitions, and other elements and reduce explanations text or narration. We've learned to shoot and use lots of footage that shows people doing things rather than talking about doing things. A filmmaker isn’t supposed to say things; his/her task is to portray them through the medium of cinema. Shooting to edit means carefully using our time on site to save all the material we will need for editing, as the situation on the ground cannot be recreated later to fill in the gaps. Shooting to editing comes naturally with experience, and we as one of the documentary production companies in India, can achieve great results with diligent advance planning combined with improvisation in the field.
With our innovative ideas for documentary video production and expertise in visual storytelling, we are able to shoot and edit compelling and visually appealing movies that appeal to the public.
Documentaries were original artistic productions intended for the consumption of television viewers. Today, however, we produce them for diverse online mediums as well. Despite the target medium, documentaries are typically classified into five categories -
● propagandist, and
● cinema verité documentaries.
At our documentary video production studio, we produce all of these documentary styles.
Formats have to do with the physical characteristics of the film, such as the size, the packaging, and whether it is a silent or sound film. The size of the film can be measured in millimetres (mm). This is the standard measurement. Film sizes range from 8mm, normally used for domestic purposes, to gigantic 70mm, which is used on some widescreen feature films. For the production of television films, only three sizes are used. They are -
● 16mm, and
● super 8mm.
16mm is the most common among the three, while 35 mm is mainly intended for professional productions. 35mm is used in prime-time entertainment programs. The size of this format produces exceptionally beautiful images.
However, it is rarely used for most video film productions because only major networks and a handful of TV stations have 35mm showing capability. The 16mm format is the industry standard for local television film productions and projections. It is less expensive than 35 mm, yet the various professional films available in 35 mm are also present in 16mm. Again, the 16mm production equipment is completely professional and comparable to the quality of 35mm equipment. Finally, 16mm equipment is comparatively lighter and more portable. Super 8mm is becoming increasingly popular due to its low-cost alternative to 16mm. Therefore, it is used by relatively small production stations and studios. Despite the fact that 16mm film is less expensive than 35mm film, it is no doubt an expensive and costly medium in comparison with the super 8mm film. The super 8mm does not in any way compare well with 16mm, both in terms of picture quality and production flexibility. In spite of this drawback, the super 8mm can be used well with satisfactory results at smaller stations and documentary production houses. This is based primarily on its simplicity and affordability.