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  Apple Guide to Documentary Video:

Video Journaling



Due to logistics, this might be your last choice when it comes to observation of nature, but since so many people have a camera that can shoot video, there may be some who would like to add videography to the program.

The occasional student will also show an interest in videography and it’s worth encouraging them.

There is one more important option that you might consider. Why not have a class or group produce their own ten-minute environmental documentary movie? With that in mind we have linked to a most comprehensive PDF Video Documentary guide put out by Apple. Far more than you need, it's a great resource and worth mining for the purposes of developing video journaling in this program.


Videography compares to photography only in the sense that composition, light and focus is important. Thereafter it is a different discipline. The download provides guidelines that go a long way to producing an appealing ten-minute visual record.


For any given subject or segment, record a wide, medium and close-up clip. Record short clips: unless some drama is unfolding, or it’s an interview, ten to fifteen second clips will suffice. And unless deliberate motion is sought, for example to run with an incoming tide or to do a turn beneath trees while looking up through the canopy, hold still! Collect a few personal anecdotes from classmates or family members by way of brief interview. Keep the editing simple.


Backpack Documentary

With so many of today’s still cameras capable of shooting HD video, this journalistic discipline has become widespread. One-man-journo-bands are heading out with a single camera. Stuffed into the backpack is a small battery-operated portable light for interviews, a microphone, small tripod, spare batteries and cards. With this gear they produce documentaries aired on Discovery Channel.

Use the Apple Guide to prepare your story, pull together a team and add this element to your project. You could plan to screen the results at the end of the program or load the video to a website.

Please download the full article linked at the top
of this page for more information and ideas.