Documentary Production Cycle - Completing the Documentary


In this culminating lesson, students will complete a shooting documentary flexible script, shoot their story, and edit their footage. Students review Freytag Pyramid and utilize everything they have been learning to create their documentary films.


"Documentary Production Cycle"

This is this culminating lesson in the project based unit, "Changing the World, One Documentary at a Time," where students complete their own documentary production requiring students to present an argument, research, and a call to action. In this lesson, students are to put together all new learning to make their story come alive. Each student produces their own documentary as well as serve as a production team with 1-3 other students.

Materials suggested for this Lesson

  • Student Handouts printed before each lesson
  • Computer with Internet
  • Google Doc Access (computational device)
  • Editing Software such as Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Lights (3 point lighting kits, LED lights, Flex lights, etc)
  • Microphones (On Camera Mic, Lav, Zoom H4, etc)
  • Boom Pole, XLR Cables
  • Camera and or Cell Phone
  • Lens (50mm, 85 mm, etc)
  • Go Pro Mounting Cameras
  • Backdrop Stand with Black/White/Green backdrops
  • Reflectors and Diffuser
  • Tripod
  • Monopod
  • Dolly
  • Drones
  • and any other equipment that can help create a beautiful shot

Lesson #1: The What and Why of Documentary
Lesson #2:Taking a Stand
Lesson #3: Research, Research and More Research
Lesson #4:Documentary Production

Lesson Times

Freytag My Documentary
10 Minutes
Creating My Flow
30 Minutes
Scriptwriting Down to the Wire and the Preproduction Plan
50 Minutes
150 Minutes
Post Production
50 Minutes
Peer Assessment and Revision
50 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
K-12 Subjects
  • English-Language Arts
  • Visual Arts & Performing Arts
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives


California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to create a Freytag Pyramid for their documentary story
  • Students will be able to create a shooting script for their documentary production
  • Students will be able to create a preproduction package for their documentary production
  • Students will be able to edit, reflect, and revise their documentary production

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