Documentary Production

Documentary Production: What We Do

Making a documentary can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging undertakings you can do. It can be a daunting process if you’ve never done it before, but even for seasoned professionals the documentary genre can throw up issues at any stage of the production process. 

Which is why you might need to call upon a documentary production company based in London to help you produce your documentary… introducing NEEDaFIXER.

NEEDaFIXER has a global network of professionals that provide support to documentary filmmakers. As a well-established and highly experienced film production company based in London, you’ll have the resources and expertise you need to make your documentary film shine through pre-production, film production, and post-production.

From our London HQ, we assist documentary film crews throughout the capital, across the UK and internationally. We have strong international ties and are active in more than 100 countries worldwide. Because we have such a widespread international network of talent, you get custom support based on your project budget and timeframe.

So whether you’re just beginning your documentary journey and are looking for a documentary production company to bounce ideas off, or you’ve started documentary production and you’re looking for assistance with the production process, or you simply need a production manager, NEEDaFIXER can assist you. 

NEEDaFIXER can help you with the entire creative process if necessary, from writing a script, to sound recording, through to video editing, we have extensive experience with documentary filmmaking and we would love to be involved in your documentary film production.

  • Examples of Documentaries

Why make a documentary film?

A documentary is a way of highlighting a certain cause or an injustice through filmmaking. Usually the hope is to either raise awareness of an issue or galvanise viewers into taking action to demand change. Sometimes a documentary is simply created to entertain and enthrall audiences – usually through human interest stories. Other times documentaries are the medium through which journalists solve crimes or uncover mysteries or explore hidden truths. 

The point is, why you want to make your documentary film is going to differ to the next person. Whatever you want to achieve through your documentary filmmaking, let NEEDaFIXER guide you through the production process, giving you exclusive access to our expert documentary filmmaking techniques. 

Think of a documentary as an art form, a feature film about real life and if you want to capture some aspect of real life, NEEDaFIXER can help you bring your documentary to life. 

How to make the best documentary feature film

If you want to make the best documentary feature film out there, let NEEDaFIXER guide you on your way. 

  1. Don’t think about making a documentary, think about making a feature film, something that will captivate your audience and tell your story. And don’t think about the bigger picture i.e. what you hope to achieve with the film, focus instead on making the best documentary film you can make.
  2. Don’t rehash what’s already been done before unless you can add a new twist or a new dimension to it. Audiences crave what they haven’t seen before, so tell them things they don’t already know. Take them to places they’ve never been. Introduce them to people they’ve never met. Open their eyes to the world around them and show them things they’ve never seen before. 
  3. Don’t use your documentary as a platform to lecture your audience. The old adage – ‘show don’t tell’ rings very true here. You won’t have a captive audience if you spend an hour and a half preaching to them. 
  4. Don’t be boring. You don’t have to make a serious documentary about a serious subject. Yes, treat it with the due respect it deserves, but there’s no reason why you can’t inject humour into a serious subject to make it easier to digest. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to take risks and push boundaries, it’s the only way you’re going to reach real success.
  6. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your documentary. It’s your production, it’s your story you’re telling at the end of the day. 
  7. Don’t be afraid to get emotional with what you’re filming. If you want your audience to react to what you’re showing them, give them something to react to. If you find yourself cracking up whilst filming, or crying whilst recording a harrowing sequence, the odds are that’s what your audience are going to do. If you find it dull, guess what….
  8. Don’t forget that less is ALWAYS more. In post production when you’re video editing, cut, cut and cut some more. Don’t find three separate ways to rehash the same point. Make your point and move on, otherwise you run the risk of falling foul of point number 3 here – lecturing your audience. Don’t be that documentary filmmaker. Trust that your audience are intelligent and can figure out what you’re trying to say – cut your words, cut your scenes. 
  9. Don’t underestimate the value of sound. Invest in great sound recording equipment and make sure you have the best sound production team you can afford. Sound has the capacity to make your story or break your story. Don’t create a hard hitting documentary then waste it with poor quality audio.
  10. Don’t go it alone. Draw on the expertise and experience of a documentary production film company like NEEDaFIXER.

The Process

Our teams of professionals and creatives can service you with everything from set security and location sourcing through to editing and marketing. While every project is different and we adapt accordingly, here’s a rough idea of the documentary process and how we can help at each stage.

  1. Develop Ideas: If you’re struggling to find inspiration or you need an expert’s help turning ideas into an easy-to-understand storyboard or script, NEEDaFIXER has the talent and resources to help you create fully-formed concepts that will effectively tell a story and resonate with audiences.
  2. Get a Crew Together: From translators to directors to drivers, we have a worldwide network of film professionals who are ready to take on new and exciting challenges.
  3. Secure a Location: Our location scouts can help you find the perfect backdrop for your documentary, whether that be an African desert or a beach in Bali. They’ll also help you secure permits, overcome language barriers and connect with locals to make sure you’re getting the most out of the location.
  4. Rent Equipment: No matter where you are in the world, we have an equipment rental house that can provide you with camera, film, lighting and sound equipment. NEEDaFIXER also has worldwide equipment insurance to protect your investment.
  5. Finalise Legal Documents: When producing a documentary, there can be a lot of paperwork to fill out. Our experts can help with permits, releases, copyright protections, insurance and more.
  6. Get Your Shots: We’ll be on-the-ground with you, helping to ensure all aspects of filming run smoothly. Our production assistants can help with organisation, and we can arrange craft services to keep the crew happy.
  7. Edit the Raw Footage: This is where the magic happens. Editing the film and adding music, graphics, animation and narration will turn your footage into a cohesive, engaging story.
  8. Package and Promote Your Documentary: After the final cut has been approved, our PR and marketing experts can help with publicity, press and distribution so that your documentary reaches your target audience.

What We’ve Worked On

From mini-docs to full-length feature films, we’ve done it all. See our list of clients or read testimonials that support our work.

Enquiries

What are you working on? We’d love to hear about it! Live chat with us at the bottom right of this page or contact us to discuss any upcoming documentary projects you’re working on to find out how our documentary production team can help with your next venture.

Please fill out the form below and one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.

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