Agnes Varda, one of the most celebrated filmmakers of all time always found time to make documentaries that were redolent of life and stories from different parts of the world. Though she is known to make several statements on documentary-making, here is one that remains special:
“I make documentaries from time to time to remind myself of reality. It's like musicians doing scales to keep their fingers working: when you're in the street, listening to people, you're forced to be in the service of your subject.”
Documentaries are fully realistic visualization of stories that need to be told to the world. From the busiest metro to the quietest village in the world, every corner of the earth is waiting to be heard. Myths, mysteries, crimes, celebrations and all kinds of stories can be told through a documentary. With the right crew, just perfect pieces of equipment and the right amount of research, documentaries can be made.
Now, talking about a documentary crew! Does it have to be a well-packed, finely selected team of cinematographers, directors, live sound recordists, researchers, etc? Or can we get it done with the minimal crew?
A documentary requires ardent and deep research about the subject itself, its region of cause, the people concerned with it and so on. But even with this and other steps in pre-production, the actual production and post-production work in the basket, a documentary crew can be made as minimal as possible.
A person who can carry out the functions and roles of a director, someone who can take care of camera operations, a recordist and someone with research knowledge of the research would be the right additions to a crew. But how can we narrow this down to just two crew members? A director capable of camera operations and a research member who can take care of the live sound recording! Yes, this can be uber helpful in keeping the budget, the flexibility and the accessibility required to keep the documentary production under control.
During the production period of our first documentary, A Quest in Hope, we at Motioncore Studios completed the work with the most minimal crew. This gave us a flexible schedule, easy accessibility to the area of focus, no energy was spent on crew management and the product cost was maintained under proper control.
The pre-production stage of our documentary was strewn with several days of running across government offices and watching and reading about the culture and practices of our native fishermen. This is in addition to visiting the locations and making random talks with the people. Stepping into the production stage, we tried to keep everything low-key. With the director handling the camera operations and the research assistant dealing the live sound recording and communicating with the people in focus, the work was managed within a properly set timeline.
Our post production stage was also carried out with a proper structure. Getting the editing, audio mixing and coloring layers together to bring the best out of our hard work.
Motioncore is always ready to take up documentary projects from Kerala and different parts of India with the confidence of giving a fine visual treatment for stories that need to be heard!