documentary production
Video Production /

Documentary Production: Tell A Deeper Story

A documentary production is a longer format that explores stories through a deeper examination. Richter Studios embraces the art of digital cinema to amplify your message and establish deep emotional connections with your target audience.

What Is A Documentary Production And Why Invest In Them?

A documentary production is a longer format film or video that examines specific subject matter in greater detail. From a duration standpoint, they can often range from as little as 2 to 25 minutes (Mini-Docs) to several hours (Feature Docs). Although told from the perspective of the writer/director, documentaries are supposed to be based on factual information. Typically, a documentary production:

  • Seeks to educate audiences by sharing newly discovered information.
  • Shares viewpoints and perspectives from multiple subject matter experts.
  • Provides a voice to a cause, idea, event or person.
  • Often explores controversial or sensitive subject matter.
  • Can span many years, providing the viewer with a greater sense of insight about the subject matter being covered.

Documentary productions can take many forms. Some are driven by voice narration while others feature on onscreen host that interviews various individuals while also appearing onscreen. Other documentaries feature professional onscreen talent or animations that reenact historical scenes.

Learn About All Our Video Styles

documentary production
documentary production

What Are Best Practices For Creating A Documentary?

Like all endeavors that involve the discussion of factual information and events, documentaries are at their best when they seek to reveal the truth. Here are some general principles to consider when planning your documentary production:

  • Study documentaries that feature similar content and determine how to differentiate yours.
  • Research your subject matter to uncover new information.
  • Consider sharing information from a variety of sources, including previously unseen documents, audio recordings, interviews and footage.
  • Conduct thorough interviews. You never know what question may reveal a creative gem.
  • Stick to the facts. The truth can often be stranger (and more entertaining) than fiction or sensationalism.

Documentary productions are a great way to tell a holistic story. Aim to be original and authentic. Great documentaries can represent a unique capsule in time and remain relevant for many decades.

A Creative Partner You Can Trust

Who can I speak to about a project?

If you have questions and would like to speak to us about a project, call us at (312) 861-9999 or send a message.

Send A Message To Ed!

What Is The Process For Creating A Documentary?

The creation of a documentary may span several years, so be patient in the pursuit of your dream. In general, the following process applies to most productions:

  • Find a subject that you are passionate about.
  • Select a documentary style that best suits your defined goals.
  • Write the script and/or develop interview questions.
  • Identify experts or relevant persons that can share insight in your documentary.
  • Cast the right voice or onscreen talent (host) to help drive your story.
  • Identify and secure your filming locations.
  • Assemble a post-production team to edit, score and create graphics/animation for your film.

Documentary production is more like a marathon than a sprint. Take time to plan out your masterpiece.

More About Our Process

documentary production
documentary production

How Can I Differentiate My Documentary Production?

Great documentaries inspire audiences to action and discussion. The more unique and compelling you make them, the more success they will likely achieve. Here are some starter ideas for how to differentiate your documentary:

  • Study popular documentaries to identify creative approaches that aren’t presently in circulation.
  • Consider subject matter that has rarely been explored.
  • Feature credible, unique individuals who have compelling information to share.
  • Experiment with  new production technologies to capture your footage in new and visually stimulating ways.
  • Be true to yourself. Your creative voice is entirely unique – if you believe in it.

Take a deeper dive into these topics and more by exploring how Richter Studios can differentiate your documentary production by clicking the link below.

More About The Richter Difference

From the scriptwriting to the cinematography, the creative team really hit a home run.

“Working with Richter Studios on my documentary production was a truly wonderful experience. From the scriptwriting to the cinematography, the creative team really hit a home run. It is now over a decade since we created this two-hour masterpiece and we continue to have theatrical showings. We preserved the stories of individuals who are no longer with us and it has been amazing to see the film continue to attract new audiences. I am also very proud that the film received the coveted ‘G’ rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. This happened because of the great care Richter Studios put into this outstanding film.”

Richard D. Marra, Jr. | Executive Producer | "Discovering Deerpath"

Facts About Video Production By Richter Studios

The master craftsmen at Richter Studios have developed over 12,000 "films" over 24 years. Our portfolio has won over 75 international awards.

Companies which are a good fit to retain Richter Studios have a deep affinity for creative excellence. We seek to build lasting partnerships that inspire our creative team to develop powerful video and animation solutions for our clients. Our pricing structure reflects the craftsmanship which has been featured at the world's most celebrated red carpet events.

How Long Does It Take To Produce A Video?

It often depends on the style of the video production that you'd like to pursue. An instructional video, trade show video, or social media video can take as little as 4-6 weeks. Larger productions — like brand films or commercials — can take 8-12 weeks.

How Much Does It Cost To Produce A Video?

An animation-based explainer video can cost as little as $20K. Productions that require custom filming — like corporate videos or testimonial videos — typically begin around $35K. Larger productions — like brand films or commercials — which require multiple days of filming, aerial cinematography, or sophisticated animations often range between $50K to $250K. If you have an established budget, we can also work backwards to find the creative approach that's right for you. Repeat clients enjoy more flexible rates and priority scheduling.

What Do I Need To Do To Get Started With Richter Studios?

The easiest way to get started is to visit our contact page and fill out a brief form. You can also call us by phone at (312) 861-9999 or chat with our representatives directly from this page. Once we learn more about your project, we'll prepare a formal proposal outlining our approach with a line item cost.


Looking for some great documentary examples?

Each of these clients leveraged our documentary production services. No two productions are exactly the same but we encourage you to explore our portfolio to view examples of similar work or to find inspiration for your next video production.

Ready To Get Started With Your Production?

Looking to have an exploratory call about how to get started with your video, animation or photography project? We can step you through our creative process, pricing and more. Your journey to the red carpet begins with Richter Studios. Contact us now to learn more!

Send Jeremy a Message