Commentary

The general length of a televised historical documentary is about fifty minutes. This means, roughly, that you can use only about fifteen minutes of commentary, which is about a quarter of the program's length. In reality, you have from about fifteen hundred to two thousand words to play with, which is not a great deal. A tremendous amount of detail has to be left out. You simply will not have time to explore all the ramifications of the Tet offensive, nor will you have time to explore in detail what happened to President Lincoln's family after the assassination. That's why good and effective narration is crucial.

What does narration do best? We have explored this in some detail, but it bears repeating. Narration is excellent for stories and anecdotes and for evoking mood and atmosphere. It is not good at detailed analysis of complex events or abstract thought. Above all, narration works best when it is related to images. It should point up certain things. It should explain. It should call attention to detail. The narration must not describe the images, but it should make us understand their significance.

Film Making

Film Making

If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.

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