Mini-documentaries Extended ArticleAnatomy of a Mini-Doc: What It Is and How to Knock It Out of the Park“Documentary” used to be a dirty word to the average viewer. Normally educational, often stodgy, and more than a little cheesy, documentaries were the… Read More are less about your brand’s visual aesthetics and focus more on expressing your company’s core value or mission statement in a documentary-style format. This is usually accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers.Client: RFK - School for the Visual Arts & Humanities (LAUSD) To make a big impression, it’s important your mini-doc keeps it short and sweet. You want to highlight excellent sound bites that tell viewers exactly who you are, all while maintaining their attention. While feature-length documentaries have enough time to develop a full, three-act story, mini-docs don’t. They have to establish their story by quickly answering three crucial questions: what, why, and how. What is the focus of this video? Why should the viewer care about this? How does your subject work? This helps you get key pieces of information to your audience in a fun and interesting way.


Studies show that when viewing videos on social media, a viewer commonly first reads text within a video and then immediately bounces to the caption, often even before the video has run to completion. The caption on a video for social media can make or break a post. If posting on Facebook, the platform recommends choosing a descriptive title for your video that will make it easily searchable.
After you've determined the type of music you need, it's time to start analyzing potential songs. Consider the song's pacing. Songs with a steady rhythm are easy to change to suit your video style. Hoping to include your favorite, Top 40 hit? Popular, radio songs are usually structured in 4-5 parts and can be difficult to transition. Try to choose simple songs that are easy to loop. If you're looking for an instrumental song, be sure to find something that was recorded with real instruments. Songs made with digital samples can make your video feel unprofessional and out of date.
Video is one of the most essential pieces of an NGO’s marketing strategy. According to a 2019 Nonprofits Communications Trends report, when asked the responsibilities they would assign a new hire, the top responses from survey participants were social media, content creation, and video. Even YouTube recognizes the growing need for video in the nonprofit sector, which is why the channel launched YouTube Giving in August 2018.
Professional cameras, like DSLRs, give you fine control over the manual settings of shooting video and allow you to achieve the shallow depth of field (background out of focus) that people rave about. While they're primarily used for photography, DSLRs are incredibly small, work great in low light situations, and pair with a wide range of lenses — making them perfect for video. However, DSLRs do require some training (and additional purchases) of lenses.
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