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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #1
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Percentage of Subject Footage in a Documentary

Hi All,

This my be a very basic question and i tried reading the archives to get the answer however couldnt find a answer to this. I hope you folks can guide me on this and provide a direction.

The Oddest question which i face while making my first documentary is " How much time my subject needs to be on the screen". Plan is to have a 30-35 minutes documentary.

Are there any rules on this and specifically in wildlife films. Have looked at many documentaries and could not make a rule out of it.

I know this is a odd question and may not be able to get a very straight answer , however this is a question which is giving me sleepless nights currenty.

Let me know if anyone can help.

best regards
Vishal
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Old November 26th, 2010, 03:08 AM   #2
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Give them as much time as they need, and when the audience has had enough of your subject, cut to something else as fast as possible. There is no hard and fast rule, just guidelines and rules of thumb.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #3
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As Michael says there are no hard and fast rules. It basically depends on your editing style. I try and have the "subject" on screen at least for 7 seconds so that I can include a lower third with name etc.
I have found that when the story warrants it it does not matter how long you show the subject. Some just have mesmerizing way that it almost becomes a shame to cut away.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #4
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Thanks friends for your suggestions

i know this is a very tough subject to handle when it comes to a wildlife documentary. Being my first one i am trying to be a knowledgable about the distribution of subject, etc.

regards
Vishal
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