We usually shoot with a crew of three to five people, the makeup and size of which varies with the needs of each project. A common crew setup might be a Sound Recordist, Camera Operator/lighting tech and a Director & interviewer who doubles as an additional Camera Op. When it’s within budget and necessary we will bring in crucial crew positions such as a production manager, camera assistant and makeup artist to ensure shoot days are efficient and achieve the high production values both we and our clients demand.


We will always come away with better content if we’ve been able to prepare. Our most powerful and most effective interviews are captured when we are able to meet the talent beforehand and conduct a pre-interview.

This serves five purposes.

1. We form a stronger rapport with the talent so they are more comfortable talking with us and less nervous on camera when it comes time for the real interview.

2. It enables us to gain an understanding of how the talent will answer questions and therefore how we should approach conducting the interview to get the clearest, most powerful, concise and relevant responses.

3. We learn about the individual and how they will fit into the overall story we are telling (or what the story will be) so we know what content we need to capture and don’t waste time.

4. We can plan relevant (and compelling) additional footage (B-roll) of the talent that will add genuine depth to the story. We create a list of the locations required, storyboard key sequences and schedule accordingly.

5. We find out about other “characters” that may bring more impact (and are important) to the story so we can potentially involve them in the project as well.


Although not “scripted” like a narrative drama it’s important never to go into a documentary blind and always have a clear brief and story outline. We can’t pre-empt exactly what people will say but after pre-interviews we do know what subject matter will be covered, in what way and by whom, and we start to see core themes, stories and messages emerging.

From here we are able to plan out a narrative structure and discover what’s missing and who, what, where else we need to shoot. This results in a tighter more engaging documentary and much less time in post-production.

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