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Documentaries present information about an event, person, place or idea from the past through a ten minute presentation that showcases documents, images, audio (music and voice-over) excerpts, and actual footage (film or video) of the topic you are researching. Your documentary needs to have both primary and secondary research but also be an original production.  A documentary may take the form of a program on DVD, a slide show presentation, or similar types of multimedia presentations.

A documentary should reflect your ability to use audiovisual equipment to communicate your topic’s significance, much as professional documentaries do. The documentary category will help you develop skills in using photographs, film, video, audiotapes, computers, and graphic presentations.  To produce a documentary you must have access to equipment and be able to operate it.

Some questions to consider:

  • Do I enjoy working with cameras and computers?
  • Can my topic be explained in less than 10 minutes using interviews, images, and music?
  • Will I be able to access equipment like a video camera and editing software?


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