Documentary Films in Elgin, Illinois

Documentary filmmaking is breaking out all over the world and we can help you create your vision and tell your story! 

Bring My Vision to Life

Documentary Filmmaking Elgin

It’s really interesting to see the world change media styles and media consumption with the new technologies of the day.  100 years ago people would gather around one single radio and listen to a produced show. Today people are producing the same kind of content but just calling it podcasts.  Filmmaking has changed as well.  Documentary films and series are back! With the advent of streaming services and the content produced on those streaming services documentary films are more popular than ever!  Creating and telling stories of your local community like Elgin, Illinois, and the surrounding area and bring you great success and Grindstone Productions is here to help. 

One of the biggest advantages of using Grindstone Production to help you bring your documentary vision to life is that we already have produced and made award-winning documentaries! We’ve done it, we have lived the experience and we can’t wait to work with you to start another one.  Documentary films span across genres and tell the stories that people want to see and here today.  We are ready for the challenge and we are ready for your vision. 

Contact us today by filling out the form to the right and our lead documentarian will contact you as soon as possible to start discussing ideas and collaborating to bring your vision to life! 


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Starting a Documentary in Elgin, Illinois

One of the greatest things about shooting a documentary is the people that you will meet along the way. Capturing their story and capturing their image is a truly rewarding expierence.  However, there are some things you should think about before starting off on this journey.  Most people assume documentary films are easy to shoot and easy to produce and that is not the case.  Therefore consider some of these ideas and questions before you being shooting: 

1. Plan the Story:  Make a storyboard with note cards, plan the story out that you want to tell. Make sure you know where the movie starts and where the movie will end. What is the story you want to tell? What is the perspective that you want to feature on film and WHO Is going to tell that story for you?  Are you going for a series or is this going to be a feature film?  By planning out where the project is going to go you are going to be way ahead of the game. 

2. Research: Documentaries require a lot of research about the topic you working on. This research is going to inform your questions that you ask interviewees.  It is going to enhance the story that you want to tell. Research the topic as much as you possibly can so that you can get the information you want out there. Remember you are telling a story and that is going to have perspective, research puts the perspective in order and helps guide you through the process. 

3. Find Protagonists and Schedule Long: Start lining up your interviews and schedule them out.  Also schedule the interview long and make sure you interview your main protagonist multiple times on different days. This will give them the time to think of more to say and more to convey.  Something might go wrong during filming so you want to make sure that your interviews are scheduled longer than you think necessary. 


4. Plan B Roll – Nothing is more boring to watch for a long time then one talking head. Plan the B-Roll.  Is it going to be shots from the person’s home, or the city you are talking about like Elgin? Is it going to be kids playing or driving through the countryside telling your story.  When you think you have enough, shoot more!  The B-roll footage is so important in a documentary. You want to have as much as possible. 


5. Build the Tension:  Ask the key questions you want but don’t give all the answers away right at the start.  Intermingle other interviews and other accounts to the story you are trying to tell.  Remember the story is long, it will feature twists and turns and you have to be ready and prepared for those twists and turns in order to go with the story. Build the answers slowly so the ending of the story is a better payoff or that you might discover a different ending then you had previously imagined. 


6. Work With Experience: If you have never made a documentary before, then work with an experienced person who has.  They can offer the best insights into the process.  Also if you can find a video production studio even better. They have the equipment that is going to bring the documentary to a completely new level.  You have to edit a documentary tightly to keep the pace and flow of the story moving. You have to include more production elements than you thought to make sure the narrative flows.  Find a local Elgin, video production to help and you can be at the front of the line with your documentary film. 




Documentary Films in Elgin

We love working with local documentarians in Elgin, Illinois and the surrounding area. We are ready to help in anyway we can.  Let us work together to make a beautiful film about some of the greatest stories throughout history. 

If you are looking for other ways to get noticed in Elgin, Illinois read some of our other services below for a more in-depth look at what Grindstone Production can do for you. 

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