Your Documentary

Making documentary is the most rewarding way of recording significant events—they can explore history, people, events or life’s challenges. In order to resonate with an audience, a successful documentary needs to emotionally connect the narrative with the audience.

Considering how long your documentary story should be depends on the story itself and who is telling it. A good rule of thumb is, as long as the story remains relevant, viewers will stay engaged.

When commissioning a documentary an important question to ask is who is the audience? Often stories resonate far differently with those people directly connected to the events as opposed to people not involved in those events.

Family histories tend to work better when the content and interviews are far more personalised, particularly if the key objective is to share stories with future generations.

Your Story offers a variety of options, tailor made to suit the needs of the participants and expectations of the audience. 

What to expect

Your story will be filmed and produced by a team of television professionals with more than 25 years media experience. The production, directing, interviewing, filming and editing all meet the highest quality television standards.

The production is a combination of:

  • Interviews with key participants;
  • Filming activities or locations relevant to the story (“overlay”) which will be used in the final production; and
  • Use of film, video and/or photographs supplied by the participants.  

Short documentary
(25 minutes)

Ideally this would chronicle a significant single event, or small series of events, in your life and that of your family or organisation. Such a presentation could cover the entirety of person’s life, and that of their family, in a chronological way. 

Included:

  • Complete pre-production (determining narrative, interview questions, locations and production style)
  • Pre-interviews with participants
  • One day film shoot (at one location)
    – Filming interviews with maximum of two participants
    – Filming overlay
  • Formatting supplied digital media suit production
  • Inclusion of copyright free production music
  • Editing of entire production
  • Supply of video presentation in two formats: high-definition television and web (YouTube resolution)    

Long-form documentary
(45 minutes)

Best suited to documenting an entire life story, through a series of key events told by one or multiple subjects—in the case of a family this would be spouses and/or parents and children. Alternately, an in-depth production covering on major event, or series of connected events. 

Included:

  • Complete pre-production (determining narrative, interview questions, locations and production style)
  • Pre-interviews with participants
  • Two days of filming (at one or two locations)
    – Filming interviews with maximum of two participants
    – Filming overlay
  • Formatting supplied digital media suit production
  • Inclusion of copyright free production music
  • Editing of entire production
  • Supply of video presentation in two formats: high-definition television and web (YouTube resolution)   

Documentary mini-series
(3 x 25 minutes)

If a story is has a number elements to it, a powerful method of telling it is through a series of separate but related presentations. This approach has the advantage of capturing the viewer’s attention and allowing them to digest key events and interviews before going on to the next chapter of the documentary.

This approach is well suited to telling multi-generational stories beginning with grandparents, though to their children’s life story and then on to the next generation. Alternately, if the story relates to multiple key events or chapters in lives, separating them into connected presentations is an excellent option.

Included:

  • Complete pre-production (determining narrative, interview questions, locations and production style)
  • Pre-interviews with participants
  • 4 days of filming (at up to three locations)
    – Filming interviews with maximum of six participants (two per episode)
    – Filming overlay
  • Formatting supplied digital media to suit production
  • Inclusion of copyright free production music
  • Editing of entire production
  • Supply of video presentation in two formats: high-definition television and web (YouTube resolution

Longer documentaries

A feature length documentary would typically be between 90 and 100 minutes in length. The challenge is to keep the attention of the audience, and this tends to work with drama and suspense. The narrative needs to be carefully crafted in pre-production and, for such a presentation to work, it would require filming of multiple interviews in multiple locations. The production and budget would be formulated based on an extensive client brief.