How to kickstart my documentary production?


Dear filmmakers,

It's been around a half year since I came up with a good documentary idea, but since then my motivation to work on the project has faded away.

Firstly because I've been working my ass off to save up money, partly for the project expenses.

On the other hand, I've been procrastinating due to unknown reason - obviously fear of failure.

This documentary is about a drug addiction, so it requires not only to find right people to appear on the film, but also the right state of mind to make it work smoothly.

My crew is only me, but very likely I will need to find a cameraman to help me out with that.

I know that if I will make a first move of contacting people it will make me more obligated to work on this project, but I just don't know if that is the first thing I should work on.

I would really appreciate if you could give me some tips how could I kickstart this project - the right way.


I had a similar experience. I found a story that I thought was awesome and needed to be told, so I set out to make a film. I just didn't have a clue about how that was actually done. I did a bit of research on the bare minimum of equipment, and eventually filmed some interviews with a couple DSLR's and a nice lapel Mic. The funny thing is, that once I started, so many people that found out about it came out of the woodwork wanting to help. It's been a slow long road spanning three years and luckily a lot of community support, but now I'm about 70% done with the finished film! So my advice, make a plan, find what you need, and Go.


Here's advice from a novice. Take it for what it's worth. I have been on both sides of the camera regarding documentary work. I have been interviewed and have done interviews. What I asked the guys interviewing me was, "Where are you going with this? What's the end goal, the final picture?"

What they said to me, is also what I found out conducting interviews.

Sometimes the interview will lead you into places that you didn't know existed. In my case, an interview about hunting turned into an in depth interview about the Chinese funded Elephant poaching ring in Southern Tanzania and Zimbabwe, and the South Korean market for Rhino horn. Lead to a group of people in Namibia who's job is to keep a small herd of Rhino alive. They battled Koreans coming in in small planes trying to poach the Rhino. It lead to people who wouldn't talk on camera for fear of government reproductions, and people who were going out of their way to talk in order to spread the word on the Chinese poaching epidemic.

Start asking questions. You will be amazed where you may wind up. That should get you over your lack of motivation.

Just know you will fail on something along the way, but pick yourself up and try again.

Good luck. There are likely many people you can interview in your own backyard when it comes to something as common as addiction.

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