Documentary Pre-Production Preview

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Although documentaries often follow the ebbs and flows of life, they still require a tremendous amount of planning – you need to find and qualify interview subjects, prepare to go into the field to acquire footage, secure permission to use other media, hire the crew and know your story.
In this module, you will learn how to effectively prep a documentary shoot, research your subject, properly use release forms and secure permissions to protect yourself legally, know what crew to hire, and how to determine when it’s time to shoot.
Go into your shoot prepared and knowledgeable of the subject matter – it’s only then that you can truly be an objective observer for the audience.


  • 18:51 video that walks you through the pre-production process
  • Illustrated companion guide


  • How to research your subject matter
  • How to address release forms and secure permissions
  • How to determine the crew requirements for the production
  • How to determine when to start shooting
"Will use it for sure."
    - William Linsman, Boston University