Documentary filmmaking, its our passion!
Documentary filmmaking can be taught but you must have a burning desire to tell a story. You may have years of experience in making films or this might be your very first attempt, you can always view Zar Productions as an experienced partner that will go the distance with you. In making any documentary film, there are mainly two elements that need to be considered before you select your production company to partner with.
How much experience and confidence do you have in shooting this type of film?
Documentary filmmaking will always consist of some of these basic elements:
- Interviews (set, unplanned, indoor, outdoor)
- B-role shots of product, people and environment
- Voice-over and natural, ambient sounds
There are also some elements that are a bit uncommon. There can be plenty of surprises or unplanned shots when shooting a documentary that follows a car rally or a group of bikers across the country. During these productions, anything can happen so therefore your crew must always be ready and able to follow the story. Get those critical shots is what documentary filmmaking is all about. Each one of these elements has it’s own speciality so you must check with your producer, director, DOP and sound person to make sure they have the confidence and experience to fulfil the needs of your documentary filmmaking adventure.
Tabitha – Cambodian Story
In 2009, Johnson & Johnson training and development department engaged us to follow 12 of their leaders in a journey of self-discovery and selflessness. This was documentary filmmaking in its rawest form. The team had to raise $50,000 to help in a home building project for a group of Cambodian farmers who live in remote corners of their country.
A 25 minute documentary film is still being used for internal training and development of future business leaders at J&J.
What type of equipment do you use?
Documentary filmmaking requires experience and expertise. This is also true for the type of equipment used in capturing the story. For example when shooting a documentary about Sydney’s rivers and waterways, you will need to use water-proof equipment whereas in shooting a documentary about an artist, you will need cameras that can handle a wide colour spectrum. But as the saying goes, “A bad carpenter always blames his tools” – having an experienced crew that has the knowledge of the equipment being used is just as important.
Zar Productions has a vast amount of experience in documentary filmmaking ranging from small low budget documentaries to documentaries that take months to shoot and require thousands of kilometres to travel between locations. If you are planning to shoot a documentary and need help with script development, selecting crew, organising permits, location recce, equipment selection, post production and/or anything film related please give us a call or arrange a time to meet and discuss your requirements.
The Southern Crossing
We were commissioned to follow the journey of 3 men attempting to cross Australia on motorbikes in a straight line from the most easterly point to the most western. Unfortunately on day 18 of the documentary, due to an accident one of the riders ended up in hospital and the production came to a stop. However, this experience was an amazing challenge for the team at Zar Productions, which we are extremely proud of.
Ford Model T Tour
This amazing documentary film was made in 2010 and involved a large crew of 12-camera operators who worked on a shift bases. The Model T rally ran for 7 days covering many 1000’s of kilometers across NSW. The T-Tour10 Rally was a huge success for the Model T Ford club of NSW and it attracted over 150 vehicles nationally and also hosted a few international entries.
We used a number of Canon DSLR cameras like 5D & 7D plus Sony PMW-EX1 and EX3 and Panasonic PS2. The project was edited on final Cut Pro and distributed on DVD.
Adam Brand – Road to Fame
This film is about the journey of an Australian Country Singer and how he fights his way up to reach the pinnacle of the Australian music industry. This documentary was shot over the duration of 12 months.
We used a variety of equipment however the main camera was a Sony PMW–EX3 and the project was edited using Final Cut Pro.