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UNIV1120: How to be exceptional: Documentary

This guide should answer most questions about assignments for UNIV 1120: Documentary Film and Online Literacy.


Your documentary should incorporate:

  • images (your video, and any still images used too)
  • sound (part of your video file, voice over work, GarageBand, authorized music)
  • text (this can be credits, subtitles, etc.)

It is required to be at least 3.5 minutes long. We recommend that it not be longer than 7 minutes. However, if you want to create a longer documentary for yourself, a shorter version will be shown to the class on presentation day.


Your documentary should be audible, and voices should be clearly understandable. Low quality sound is much more distracting than low quality video.


You should follow fair use and copyright guidelines as discussed in class sessions. For example, you cannot have the full content of a commercial song as your background music without permission from the copyright holder (owning it on iTunes doesn't count).


It must be clear when footage or music is NOT your creation, or it is considered plaigiarism. For example, if you use footage that got from YouTube, you must have a logo, or text in the lower third of the screen to indicate the author/owner. Any exceptions to this must be cleared by the instructor in advance, and an alternate method of credit worked out.


Your documentary should have a clear purpose and conclusion.



Filming and Screen Capture

You can check out a Pelican case with accessories to use with iPhone, or other smart phone, camera.

  • Gorillapod
  • Lapel mike
  • Light kit

Check out from Sandra Riggs, MLC 373.

See other resources for your documentary below:

Editing Resources

The MLC Digital Media Lab - has Final Cut Pro Studio X, Adobe Creative Suite 6, and iMovie. Important: you may want to bring an external drive, or a large USB drive to save files.


iMovie version -  10.x - (Purple Star icon)
If you have a newer Mac, or upgraded to Mavericks or Yosemite, you should have this version of iMovie, which is the newest. This is the version on MLC 369 Mac Laptops, and DML Macs.

iMovie '11 (Black Star Icon)

If you got a Mac that came with iLife '11, you probably have this version of iMovie. This is an older edition (2011) that has different menus and screens. You may want to upgrade to iMovie 10.

  • free training: Click here and then enter your UGA MyID and password.

Adobe Premiere 

Your Librarian

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Sandra Riggs
MLC 373 office (706) 542-6233
Email is preferred contact method. Scheduler appointments are for the Miller Learning Center. Please contact me via emai, if you need to meet at another location.
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