A documentary documents an aspect of reality, typically a social or environmental topic. This documentary was shot for UNWOMEN and investigates the disproportionate effect of climate change on women living in rural environments in Africa. This documentary was filmed in five African countries, including Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.
I shot this documentary with a UN representative named Helen Sullivan. It was an incredible experience to travel to all the locations in the five countries we shot in. I had the opportunity to meet diverse and interesting people from different cultures and backgrounds, tried lots of interesting food, and met with many interesting and empowering individuals.
It was a very hands-on experience, as there were travel restrictions I had to deal with and restrictions on equipment due to the extensive travel. We often had to drive out very far on treacherous terrain to shoot locations; nevertheless, during this project, I discovered a love for the Lesotho country and terrain. I even purchased a traditional Sotho blanket as a memento of the experience.
Editing the documentary was of vital importance, as the correct image had to be portrayed in the final product. It took months to complete the process – we had close to 2TB of footage. The final edit had to portray the ladies we interviewed as the strong and capable individuals that they are. This process ensured that the interviewees appeared strong and dignified so that the film style matched their strong and dignified words.
With a shoot of this size, there was a ton of footage generated, this footage is a valuable resource that can be repurposed into marketing material and corporate content. With this approach, it is recommended to plan your shoot in advance to ensure you cover all of your potential content needs for additional projects and media.
Helen and I worked very closely together during the editing process, and this project was a life-changing experience. Working with different cultures is an eye-opening experience that grows your expertise. Filming a person in a land where you are a foreigner teaches you a lot about making connections which ultimately leads to better footage. Additionally, the limitations that travelling and filming put on your videography team is an essential experience that forms an important competitive advantage for our services. I look forward to my next opportunity to shoot documentaries.
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Documentary Videos, Video Production