Documentary Project

You are to plan, write, shoot, edit, and finish a 3-5 minute documentary project of recorded narrative of any subject of your choice in accordance with classroom specifications.


  • Advancing learning with the three stages of production: Preproduction, production, and post-production
  • Edit together interview and b-roll footage for narrative purposes
  • Developing the ability to plan and write but still be flexible with script material
  • Development of camera techniques and visual narrative storytelling
  • Further understanding of narrative, documentary, and compelling storytelling
  • Learn how to legally source, obtain, and effeciently edit existing material into your project


  • Brainstorm ideas for your project. Write a brief statement articulating your story idea, story angle, and anticipated conclusions as well as the names and titles of the individuals you will be interviewing.
  • Research background information from credible sources.
  • Prepare questions for each subject being interviewed prior to actual filming.
  • Complete a narrative outline detailing the expected development of your narrative
  • Film interviews and b-roll footage
  • Legally source, obtain, and include existing material in an effecient way for your narrative
  • The finished piece must be between 3-5 minutes in length


  • If a school camera or editing equipment is unavailable for any reason, this project can be completed with a cell phone and phone editing application. This assignment can be done either inside or outside of class. Topic may be assigned by the teacher or the student may be allowed to select a teacher-approved topic.


  • Three stages of production
  • Brainstorming and planning process (narrative outline)
  • Shot composition, camera technique/operation, editing techniques
  • Basic interviewing techniques
  • Procurement and usage of existent material


  • School camera/cell phone
  • Editing software/video editing app
  • Tripod
  • Lights
  • Microphone
  • Books, images, songs, music, online archives, etc.


  • Grading according to the attached rubric