Documentary video production services
Time To Get Real
Whether your documentary takes you around the corner or around the world, Braun Film is there to ensure that your final product is the masterpiece you envision. Historical. Corporate. Political. Sports. Long Form. Short Form. Studio. On Location. Domestic. International. We’ve done it all. Check out a few samples of our work, or contact us to talk about our documentary production services.
- Documentary Productions in Washington DC
- Cost of Creating a Documentary in DC
- Secure Funding For a Documentary First
- Documentary Style Video Production
- Call Braun Film & Video Today
Documentary Productions in Washington DC
Very frequently we are approached by current clients, and prospective clients, who have intriguing ideas for a documentary film. DC Documentary productions can take on many forms, and as the genre has gained popularity in recent years, more and more people are looking to get into the field. The first thing to understand about DC documentary filmmaking is that regardless of a great idea, it is frequently the case that producing a documentary is the easy part. Getting it marketed, distributed and earning your money back is the hard part. A truly 'independent' documentary film does have many outlets to be seen, whether they be film festivals, cable television, or even on-line portals. However, the reality is that the return on your investment (let alone making a profit) can be difficult to achieve and there are real hard costs associated with marketing, distribution and screenings - including entrance fees for film festivals, travel costs associated with meetings and traveling with your film to various screenings and forums.
Cost of Creating a Documentary in DCAdditionally, there are often ‘representational’ costs paid to third parties who can assist in the process of public relations and marketing to distributors, the general public, etc. This is all of course in addition to your production costs – which can vary greatly depending on the complexity, length and production value of your documentary film. This is not to throw a wet blanket on your dream of producing a documentary in DC – in fact, most documentary filmmakers understand it’s an uphill battle to get their project off the ground and are committed to the process due to an undying passion that all good documentary producers have for their subject matter – however, it is the reality of the situation and it’s important to understand that no matter how great a documentary idea you may have, it’s not quite a ‘build it and they will come’ scenario.
Secure Funding For a Documentary First
While documentary production is certainly a passion of ours at Braun Film & Video, Inc., we always need to remind folks inquiring about such a production that the first step is to secure funding. This can take on many forms from earning grants through a number of channels including academic institutions, the NEA, PBS and non-profits, as well as self-funding (we’ve all heard the stories about the passionate filmmaker who maxes out multiple credit cards to get their project off the ground), to corporate underwriting in scenarios where perhaps a deep pocketed large organization wants to help disseminate a message that’s in line with that organization’s corporate culture. Of course, in this scenario, one needs to walk that fine line between true documentary filmmaking and ‘propaganda’. We’re always more than happy to hear about a great idea, or help make recommendations on how to leverage a great documentary idea, however, we are not professional fundraisers for those ideas, which is why we always tell prospective documentary clients to certainly keep us in mind as a production partner, but AFTER funding has been secured.
Documentary Style Video Production
Once you’ve identified your subject matter, the next step is to determine the best way to tell your story. Our DC documentary production department can definitely help out with making suggestions on this front and, frankly, in many instances the form your documentary takes on may well be dictated by your budget. For example, a historical documentary focused on any given event or topic may feature on-camera interviews with academics, historians, eyewitnesses, etc. as well as feature historical visual assets including photography, film/video, periodicals, etc. This is a relatively ‘traditional’ way to attack your subject matter in a cost-effective manner from a production standpoint, however the exact same topic could also feature elaborate dramatic re-creations featuring actors, wardrobe, sets and all the trappings of any independent film with a fictional story. Maybe your film ends up being a hybrid of these two approaches. And of course, there are other reasonable approaches too that could feature simple to very complicated graphics and animations, more cutting edge / ‘commercial’ style looks, or whatever else your imagination can dream up. All of this is simply to say that the reality of independent documentary filmmaking is that, like we tell many of our commercial clients, budget frequently dictates creative.
Call Braun Film & Video Today
At Braun Film & Video, Inc., we strive to work with documentary clients as more than just your ‘production partner’, although we are always happy to fill that role if it’s all that is asked of us. However, the state of development in which projects come to us is all over the board. Sometimes someone has a kernel of an idea, but they lack an understanding of the production process and need us to help reign things in, come up with budgets, provide writing and creative services, etc. Other times, the client has already written up a script, identified and contacted key on-camera interview subjects and just needs help with the execution. There are really no steadfast ‘rules’ or magic templates to making a good documentary and plenty of folks have entered this realm having zero experience in the production world. That’s kind of the beauty of this genre though – that anyone with the passion, perseverance and intelligence to see a project through can make it happen. Like all of our DC documentary productions, we see our role in the documentary space as a very collaborative one. We can support your efforts at any stage (after funding has been secured) from doing most of the heavy lifting, to serving in a more piece-meal role.
Have an immediate or future project? Feel free to contact us to learn more about our production services and rates.