August 11, 2019 Story 0 Comments

Project 2 – Documentary

Your documentary is due on Monday, December 9 at 11:59pm. This means that it must be uploaded to the file transfer site ( by that time. Give yourself plenty of time to account for any lags in service as people begin to push large video files onto each. Late work will not be accepted.

Your documentary should run a minimum of at least five (5) minutes. There is no cap on the length, but they typically run between five and seven minutes.

You will also need to write a one page self evaluation that includes the following:

  • Your contributions to the project
  • Assessment of the final product. Assess it honestly.
  • What did you learn? What might you have done differently?
  • A brief description/summary (two to three sentences) of your documentary, the title, and who worked on it.

Bring a hard copy (printed) of the one page self evaluation to class the day of the documentary presentations.

Setup your sequence in AVCHD 1080p / 30fps and export in format H.264, change your resolution to 1280 x 720 when exporting (in the export panel, about halfway down there is a list of tabs, under Video, there is a section called Basic Video Settings, you will see a width/height with a check mark, uncheck it and type in the box for height 1280, and height 720). Exporting at 720 will allow for a quicker export and upload time, as well as smaller file size. For your personal copy to use on a portfolio or upload to YouTube, you should export at 1920 x 1080.

Documentary Checklist


  • The story should begin with a fade up from black, which means you should have about 1-2 seconds of pad at the start of your story to allow the fade to use its full effect.
  • The title should appear at the beginning, or near the beginning, as you might choose to begin with a soundbite setting up the story and then bring the title in after that point.  The title should include your names.  The actual title of the story should be larger than your names.
  • Your title graphics (font, colors, etc.) should match from the teaser
  • Your lower third graphics (font, colors, etc.) should match that of your title
  • Each person that appears in the story should have a lower third one time, no more.  The lower third should be on the screen long enough that we can read their name and title.
  • Each lower third should fade up and fade out (use a CROSSFADE if your lower-third doesn’t automatically do so) or have another transition that smoothly introduces the lower third on the screen.  Whichever one you choose to do it should be visually appealing and the effect should be set to the same length on both the in and out on all lower thirds.
  • Audio must be properly modulated.  NATS and SOTS should be level and equal, between -12 and -15. B-Roll and the NATS that accompany it that cover a SOT should be modulated between -33 and -36.
  • In order to smooth out rough cuts of audio where there are pops or clicks between cuts use a CONSTANT POWER audio effect.  Double click the transition once it’s on the timeline and set the length of the effect somewhere between 1-3 frames (so all the numbers should be zeros, except the last one, which will be either 1, 2 or 3).
  • Don’t go crazy with video transitions. Remember, they should be used for a reason.
  • At the end, if you used music or photos or video that is not yours, you must provide credit.  You will have to create a credit graphic that appears at the end.  After the credit graphic appears you should use a FILM DISSOLVE to fade to black.  If you don’t require a credit graphic, your story should use a FILM DISSOLVE to fade to black off the last piece of video.  This will require 1-2 seconds of pad to ensure we get the full effect and don’t cut off any final video or sound.
  • If you use music at the end of your story, your music must fade out at the exact time or just after your VIDEO or CREDITS do. Use an EXPONENTIAL FADE on the music audio to accomplish this.

Naming and Uploading

Name your story LastName_LastName_Documentary
Upload Instructions: View Instructions Here

Due / Presentations: Mon, Dec 9 by 11:59pm / Presentations on Dec 11 at 2:00pm