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Editing a documentary is a bit different than narrative features. Since it is often a stop-and-go process, you’ll often get started on the edit before you’re doing shooting.

Remember, you first told your story with your concept and research. Then you told it again (and re-wrote it) when you went out and shot it. Now it’s time to tell it one last time with your edit. LOG YOUR FOOTAGE

To start, go through all of the footage you shot. Log the clips that relate most to your story and controlling idea. Tools like Adobe Prelude make this process very straightforward, and include in and out points and comments on each clip. WRITE AN AUDIO-VISUAL SCRIPT

Armed with the best footage you have, it’s time to work on writing a script. Relate your footage to the beginning-middle-end structure you laid out in your treatment. Did you get everything you need? If your budget allows, go out and grab any last shots you didn’t get. If not, what you’ve got is what you’ve got.

There’s no single way to make a documentary script. But generally you want to break down your narration, sound and visuals into a two or three column A/V script. Use this to plan your edit with the sights and sounds of your footage. PIECE IT TOGETHER

Reference your A/V script and logged footage as you assemble your vision. Consider using lower third graphics where a point isn’t as clearly communicated as you intended.