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Methods & Approaches

Documentary video

Documentary video encompasses any non-fiction motion picture that documents an event and/or informs about a subject matter. Documentary videos may use interviews, observational footage, archival images and sound, voice-over narration, as well as infographics such charts and maps. They are a time-based form, therefore rhythm, cadence, and tempo are essential considerations.


iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Windows Live Movie Maker


  • Documentary videos use media to document and explore topics, so recording video and audio and crediting sources is key.
  • Documentary styles vary from fly-on-the-wall to “voice of authority” narration to participant/observer and these styles drive the selection of materials and how filmmakers structure and frame them.
  • Regardless of topic and style, documentary videos should use visuals and audio to convey or explore a subject in an organized and provocative manner

Documentary Video Samples

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