This past semester, myself and two other class mates created a documentary called Enemy Aliens. It is a documentary about a family that was affected by the internment camps in Canada. This semester was stressful but exciting and a great learning experience. Although our group ran into some problems along the way we were able to create a documentary in the end.
When creating a mini documentary you need to make sure you plan ahead with the direction of the documentary, who you will be interviewing (if you plan to interview), and regular meetings with your crew to make sure everyone is up to date. While making Enemy Aliens we ran into issues with planning to meet up with people, getting information that was crucial for our doc and very little b-roll to work with.
One of the first problems we ran into was trying to find a date that worked for us and the researchers that were willing to help us with information on internment camps in Canada. It took us over a month to find a date that worked for us both, which set us back a lot. A second issue was when we went to our local museum to get photos for our doc. There was a miscommunication about the prices of the photos and we found out it was $15 per photo when we originally thought it was $15 for all photos. We had over 50 photos that we wanted but had to cut it down to 10. That was a huge set back and we ended up having to retrieve photos on the Canadian Archives, meaning we were not able to post our doc anywhere when it was finished, due to copyright. Lastly, the person we interviewed was not comfortable at all with being filmed, but was fine with being voice recorded. This wasn’t a huge problem, it just made it extremely difficult to find photos to go over the voice over.
Overall, make sure you are prepared and you will run into problems that you will have to work around. We ran into some stressful issues but in the end everything worked out and we were able to create Enemy Aliens.