Documentary Scripts

A documentary script contains an elaborate description of all visual, auditory and technical details of the film you are producing. Documentary scripts serve the following functions.

• Documentary scritpts are always formatted using 12pt. Courier Font with an audio and video column for the details of your production.
• The script is a breakdown of all all camera placements and movements. All shots must have bolded shot descriptions:For shots of action related to the script remember to use a variety of framing points.: ECU- extreme close up/ CU- close up / MCU- medium close up / LS- long shot or FS- full shot/ ELS- extreme long shot/ OTS- over the shoulder / XO- Cross-Shots-/ BEV- Bird’s Eye View/ 2S-FS - two shot full shot / WEV- Worms Eye View.
• Remember that interviews are generally shot with a MCU and have a background that matches the content of the interview.
• Every shot you take or footage you add must be motivated by the content in the script. The audience wants to see examples of what you are talking about
• Any graphics, photos or titles should also included in the shot descriptions.
• The script can be a guide in determining the exact length of the film by mentally timing out each shot. 1 page of script in 12 pt. Font double spaced equals about 1 minute of screen time.
• The shooting script includes the exact dialogue and sound you will hear at each precise moment of production.

2-Column Excerpt from “A SHAMAN FROM YUCATAN”
directed by Peter Thompson:

Video Audio


FAMILY LAND, MAPS & RUINED HOMES--duration: 5:00

DC EXPLAINS HISTORY OF FAMILY LAND TO LEYTE

MCU DC EXPLAINS FAMILY LAND TO LEYTE (WHITNEY)
OTS LEYTE DRAWS TREES


Photos: FULL MAP OF FIRST FAMILY LAND
SECOND FULL MAP OF FAMILY LAND

 

CU BOUNDARY OF TIA'S AND DC'S LAND
CU COOKING HUT AND PATH
CU COOKING HUT NUMBER TWO
CU PATH
CU HUT WITH BLUE DOOR

POV EXPLORATION OF FAMILY LAND

 

PHOTO: DONA DEMETRIA
.

WALK AROUND FOUR SIDES OF OLD FAMILY LAND

WS DC GATHERS HERBS

 

 

 

 

NAR: Don Chabo dictates the history of the family land.

He speaks little Spanish, and his granddaughter speaks little Mayan.

 

80 years ago his granddaugher’s great-great grandmother lived in a forest.

60 years ago she sold some of it.

50 years ago her daughter sold more.

40 years ago her daughter--DC’s mother--sold more.

30 years ago DC sold the rest, sliver by sliver, because what he earned as a shaman was too meager to live on.

20 years ago, DC’s second wife, Doña Demetria, left him for a better life selling fruit on the streets of Merida.

It was then that DC began to eat scraps

SOT:
To make medecines, I enter land now owned by strangers to gather leaves from trees he planted years ago on land that once was mine.


DC still knows exactly how to use the leaves, but now can’t always remember the names of his trees.

Nar: The undeveloped land on the upper left of Leyte’s map lies behind DC’s house.

This land belongs to his older sister, Jacinta.

MARGOTTE AT TIA’S HOUSE

 

JACINTA HOLDS DEATH HUIPIL
for a long time, then dissolve to:

Jacinta is getting ready to die and wants to sell it.

Margotte wants to buy it.

Jacinta has sewn her death shroud...

JACINTA CARRYING HUGE IKON OF VIRGIN OF GUADELUPE WALK ALONG ROAD WITH MARGOTTE.

... and everywhere she walks, walks prepared to meet God.