Steps to prepare a documentary film scenario

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The screenplay of the documentary takes several steps: 

  • The preparation of treatment
  • Carrying out of research
  • The writing of the shooting script

Below are detailed steps for each step:

First: Preparation of treatment:

This stage or the first step is an explanation and explanation of the basic idea that revolves around the film. The basic idea in the film is a technical one, and in theory any human mind can be used as a basic idea for any film.

The basic idea must be very clear, because if the idea is the focus of the scenario vague or unspecified, this leads to the failure of the scenario, and when the mysterious scenario turns into images on the screen, it mixes with the viewer, which is very troubling.

In the preparation stage of the treatment, the filmmaker must take into account several points, such as the method of presentation of the film, whether it contains an operative dialbook, a suspension or both. Will the music (or sound effects – prepared) be an essential component of the film, will the film be used in the truth mode or the material will be treated in a dramatic format.

At this stage it is necessary to answer several questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the film?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What are the characteristics of the target audience and what is their position on the subject?

Second: Research and Study:

After identifying the main idea and the main film, there is a need for detailed research on the subject. The information to be presented must be compiled and it must be reviewed. Which are relevant to the subject of the film.

No source of information should be neglected, no matter how simple its contribution, and it is necessary to use experts in specialized subjects. Information can be obtained from various sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, film archives, encyclopedias and information networks.

Third: Writing the Executive Scenario:

The writing of the executive script is the first stage immediately preceding the implementation and the beginning of the filming, and this type of scenario is used in some cases and subjects. The visuals should be described with a snapshot and provide us with the following information:

– Number of shots, whether internal or external.

– Places and time of photography, whether day or night.

– The areas we will see through the camera.

– Different camera movements

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