Constantly changing technology offers students limitless possibilities in developing media-based presentations for the documentary category. Students may create documentaries using slides, film, videos, and/or computers. Whatever presentation format is chosen, students must be able to operate all equipment during production and at each level of competition.
Important: The most important aspect of any entry is its historical quality. Students should not get so caught up in the production of a documentary that they lose sight of the importance of the historical quality. Judges are not looking for glitzy productions; rather, they are looking for solid research and a thorough analysis of the chosen topic.
Although computer based presentations are now more prevalent, slide presentations are still an effective tool. Slides can be either purchased or produced by students. The key to an effective entry is a good combination of visual images and recorded narrative. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The availability of affordable video cameras has increased the use of this entry category. Editing software is widely available, which enhances the production quality of the documentary entry. Many communities also have cable access stations that have video equipment available for public use. Following are some suggestions for film and video entries. Students should:
The computer is now a commonly used tool for creating documentaries. Students are using computers to create special effects, animation, graphics, and other visuals for use in slide or video presentations. Students who choose to use the computer to create their entries should have access to computers with multimedia capabilities and should be familiar with at least one type of presentation software. QuickTime and Adobe Premiere are two examples of software packages that are used to create projects. Students should also have access to editing software (such as iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker that they are able to use themselves.