- Visual evidence. Visual evidence is necessary to make a good documentary. It is the actual footage that will support the narrative of the documentary and convey the message of the film. Without visual evidence, the documentary will come off as false or fake. Also, a film really isn’t a film if it doesn’t have visual evidence. For example, a film can’t really be called a film if it doesn’t have any visual elements but only sound. Sound is secondary to movies, it’s the visual evidence that is the most important aspect.
- Footage. In order to have the appropriate visual evidence in your movies, you need real quality footage. Particularly if you are shooting a documentary because footage is extremely important in telling the truth as it is. For example, the writer talks about the teacher and the student knitting and sharing a profound moment. However, he failed to retain decent footage of the event, and in turn could not showcase his message through that particular scene. Even if you are more interested in what people have to say, it is equally, if not more, important to shoot people doing what they do.
- Concrete images. In order to make a movie you need to have concrete images. It is not possible to ‘shoot’ abstract ideas. To build up visual evidence for a film, you need images that are “solid, tangible, existential”. For example, “on Tuesday, the mail didn’t come” cannot be filmed. Instead, to make up proper visual evidence, you will shoot various footage of perhaps a character waiting for the mail, constantly checking her mailbox, with references to the fact that it’s Tuesday by using a calendar or the radio. This is a concrete image that could become visual evidence for the film.