Research Techniques for Documentary

We’ve been given 3 a new assignments, Researching Techniques, production of a Documentary and Production of a Advertising. the researching Techniques we could choose to include the research of the Documentary or the Advertising, i’ve chosen to put the research for the documentary.




I decided to move to London because in Portugal i couldn’t find a real job opportunity in my area, i was working as Graphic Designer Freelancer for 4 years, and the people that i was working for, they didn’t really value my work, and also they didn’t truly allowed me to be creative. I’ve been 2 times in London for holidays and what i saw is that the opportunities in my area are endless, so i came here basically pursuing a “dream”. I never let the people around me influence me on a negative way, but lately, i’ve been meeting a lot foreigns in London that just want to give up on wherever reason that brought them here. Everybody has different ways to see things, but in my point of view if you decide to leave your country looking for a better future, and if you move to a country that offers a lot of opportunities, going back to your country empty handed, is give up without a fight. I’ve always felt that there’s more to life than having a regular job, family and that’s it, we all going to die, but while you’re alive, do the best for you to have a joyful life in every ways. Pursue your passions, your goals, your interests and dreams, some people look at these things as not meaningful because “what matters is love”, but those are thing that makes you love yourself and not fall into deep depression seeking for Love.

I decided to do a Documentary about Success and Happiness, because always that i meet a person that want to go back to their country because they miss their friends and family or they feel like they’re here in London just to work and no fun, I try to change their minds with the true questions. What brought them here? You say you came here looking for a better future but you just want to party and be surrounded by people that want the same; you said you tired and you don’t like the place you’re working but you also don’t look for another job… etc.

So my target audience is this group of people, but… it can be for anyone else.

Task 1 : Undertaking the Research


Primary Research






I had with a lot of people from different backgrounds and hear their opinion on Success, Happiness, luck and more subjects that might came up throughout the conversations. I’ve spoke with my colleagues of work, with my managers, with a lot of people from different stores on the Shopping Centre where i work.

There were days there i just go out with my camera and walk trough different areas of london to film and interview even more people, barbers, designers, street dancers, sometimes people on the train or underground that i just start a conversation with them about it, and it is an interesting subject so sometimes it was easy to start a conversation.

I’ve also interview my lectures who have been teaching for years now. I enjoyed quiet a lot having the long conversation with both of them, i recorded on my smartphone but sadly, it fell on the water and i lost the audio file.




I also went to London comic con, it was for my for personal interest, but i had the opportunity to speak with a good number of people as well, people doing cosplay, illustrators and seniors game designers and animators of well stablished companies.





The conversation with this variety group of people were extremely valuable and also talking with people from different backgrounds was very useful.


Secondary Research 








As secondary research i watched documentaries about the subject, also research on well known artists, entrepreneurs and actors, because, society tend to look at figures of power and celebrities as inspiration because their lives seem “perfect”, and it was important to do a research on some cases and see how they made it to the so call Success and Happiness, and on some cases their stories are indeed powerful.

Jack Ma and Arnold Schwarzenegger i like their stories and i admire them a lot actually ( talk about it ).

And i’ve also watched even more documentary films and interviews of a lot of people that helped me to put together a script.


Format, Genre and Style


After all the information i’ve gather, it was time for me to decide the style of my documentary.






I came up with a 10 pages script in order to document all the information i’ve gather. i was thinking on a combination of a reflexive documentary and performative documentary, but later on i decided to do on a Poetic Style.





i think this style may be more appropriate to convey my message because, my intention is to tell my target audience that although we must have good moments with our friends, family, romantic relationship, wether on a party or just going out, doing some sort of activity that in a way brings us joy, fulfilment and excitement, it doesn’t mean that someone out there, pursuing his dream, that on the accomplishment of each task, it won’t bring him the same joyful and fulfilment feeling.

I go out with my camera and i capture even more material, but this time, my intention was to capture emotions and behaviours.






Because happiness is the mother of the family three of emotions, so i will need to show a lot of human emotions, behaviours, and throughout the video use colourful graphic to describe a certain emotion.





Task 2: Assessing the Accuracy and Validity of the Research


Most of the information i’ve gather is useful and valid because it was primary research, it was me interviewing people directly about the subject.

The documentaries and interviews found on youtube, were things that on a way helped but i cannot say are valid, and that’s why i won’t use on the final project.


Task 3:




Self Evaluation


Been a foreign in London and on a pursuit to make something of myself here, this research helped me a lot. I’ve learned a lot throughout this process, every conversation that I had with people from different countries and background taught me something, and on the process made my mind even more focused on my goal. It’s a shame I couldn’t find a very rich and successful person from London for me to have a conversation with, but still all the information that I’ve found online, the speeches and interviews from very successful people from around the world, were a very useful pieces for the project







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