After spending this semester working on a documentary, I have a lot to share about what I learned.
Creating a documentary: Here’s what we learned
For my sustainability capstone project, I had the privilege of assisting Francesca Edralin, a junior at George Washington University and the first Planet Forward Comcast Storytelling Fellow, with the production process for a short documentary about food insecurity.
Specifically, Edralin wanted to focus on food insecurity within the context of COVID-19. Her piece profiled the Green Bronx Machine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and workforce development.
Edralin had pitched the topic for her short documentary because she had crossed paths with the founder of the Green Bronx Machine at a conference in Milan, Italy, years ago and decided to reach out to see how they were handling the COVID-19 pandemic in their classrooms.
The process of completing this film took about two months. We had to reshoot a lot because of minor details we would notice after we’d reviewed our footage, so this process required us to pay close attention to detail — and utilize a lot of patience! However, looking back now, we’re glad we took our time with it.
There’s a lot more to creating a documentary than just picking up a camera; creating a documentary is an art form that has a long process, but the final product is worth the effort.