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Creative Resources for Documentary Creators

You have a great story, but presenting it well is the next step. Get into the nuances of creative direction, including writing, visual aesthetics, ethics and sound that will bring your ideas to life.

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash



  • Watch IDA seminar on "Creating Sound and Music for Docs" Part 2 focusing on Scoring Your Film - Licensing and Composing

  • The Important Role of the Music Supervisor Read More

  • Why You May Need a Music Supervisor to Keep Your Film's Soundtrack on Track Read More

  • Tips for Working with a Composer Read More

  • The How-to Guide on Production Music Libraries Read More

Archival Storytelling

  • Archival Research 101: Looking for the Perfect Image Read More

  • Watch IDA seminar on "Using Archival Footage to Tell Your Story"

  • 6 Essential Tips for Using Archival Footage Read More

  • How to Find-and License-Archival Footage Read More

  • Finding Footage in a Foreign Land Read More

  • Finding Footage at the National Archives Read More

  • Select list of US Archives Read More

  • The Rising Cost of Putting History on Screen Read More

  • Archive Verite: Editing as an Art Form Read More

  • The Rescue and Recovery Mission of Film Preservation Read More

  • How Makers of Profile Documentaries Shape Their Subject from Archival Footage Read More

  • Experimental Filmmakers Widen the Parameters of the Archive Read More

  • How to Discover Rights-Free Materials For Your Film: Two Examples Read More


  • Analyzing a Documentary's Strengths and Weaknesses Read More 

  • Defining the Role of the Writer in Nonfiction Read More


  • Center for Media & Social Impact report "Honest Truths: Documentary Filmmakers on Ethical Challenges in Their Work" Read More

  • What to Do About Documentary Distortion? Toward a Code of Ethics Read More

  • Five Doc-Makers on (Avoiding) Extractive Filmmaking Read More

  • Ethics in Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking Read More

  • Who Is Telling Whose Story, To Whom, and Why? Read More

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