Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Roller Coaster Documentary.

  1. #1

    Default Roller Coaster Documentary.

    Hi all, this is my first attempt at making a documentary which is an insight into the history of a roller coaster manufacturer called Vekoma. I made the documentary for the website and forum that I am a member of and it is the first in a series of 'The History Of....'
    I'm quite happy with it but I hope to surpass it in 2007 with the second instalment, the one gripe I have with this one is about half way through we filmed using cue-cards as I had no time to remember the script.
    Anyway, please have a look, even if it doesn't interest you. Any hints and tips for future releases would be appreciated.

    Here is the link:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Nice to see "traditional" documentaries are still being made.

    I do have a couple of comments though... don't take it personally, it's just my opinions!

    I found the "Rabbit in the headlights" presenter a bit boring. Instead of standing/sitting looking into the lens, try walking & talking, or chosing locations where you can see what you're talking about (golden rule: Show it, don't talk about it) and chill out a bit. The commentary was a bit dry and (how can I put this) boring at times.

    Take a bit more care with the sound. The presenter was certainly understandable but there was a fair bit of thrumble and wind-noise on some takes, and the stuff recorded inside sounded a bit "hollow".

    The copyright-free music was a bit naff too!

    This sounds like I hated it. Not at all, I love seeing this sort of stuff, it's what camcorders were made for! I hope you do more stuff.

  3. #3


    Thanks for your comments. I haven't taken any personally at all and the main reason I have shared it here is so I can get feedback and tips on how to improve. I admit myself that it is far from great and the follow up documentaries should improve significantly. The presenting was done by myself and I was trying so hard to re-iterate the script that obviously my stature and look was inaminate.
    The sound on the final edit was actually far better than our first takes which we spent a whole day doing but not checking the quality, thus we wasted a full days filming, all lessons that have been learnt though.
    Thanks again for your comments and they will certainly be taken into consideration.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    I know how hard it is to talk to camera as a presenter. In fact, I can't do it myself.
    I think you could do it very well however. Have a look at someone like Alan Hart-Davis, Simon Scharma or Peter Ackroyd, none of which are "typical" or good looking but have an animated way of putting information across.

    Having worked with a fair few presenters, hardly any of them learn a script or work from cue cards. They usually just learn the salient points and then explain them to the camera. Keep the takes short, you can cover any joins by cutting from a long shot to a close-up (or vice-versa) or by laying pictures over the top.

    I think what you're doing is very interesting, please keep in touch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    Good to know even 'professionals' don't memorise a script!

    When making audio commentaries for tutorials I cut it the tutorial into short segments. Rather than trying to memorise each segment, I just talk about what I know. This does sometimes mean you end up making a lot of 'takes', but it comes out so much more natural.

    I do the same when making company presentations... but this time you only get one take! But I prefer the more organic nature of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    That was great, one of the best films I have seen on this thread in ages.

    I genuinely enjoyed it and found it informative. I think the most important ingredient, an essential for any doc is passion, and that shone through.

    Any criticism I make starts from a high place and is only details really as the whole works well.

    I agree with the walking / movement point. Dont try to read, it looks awfull, I bet you could have winged it easy, it's the passion in the delivery that works best. A bit more creative editing would have lifted the visual impact. Music didnt work for me. I think a more upbeat style would have suited the subject. Sounded like you were shouting a bit to get the sound better - considor getting a decent shot gun mic or a lapel mike for your next film.

    Really, with a bit of tweaking, that could be a corperate vid for the company, and it would have cost them thousands...

    Great stuff.

  7. #7


    I thought it was rather good. The only thing I would recomend is to move the script closer to the lens, the presenter apears to be looking down quit a bit. Other then that a very well done and informitive video.

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006


    That's an extremely nice piece, Sean. The crits the guys give above are reasonable, and worth noting. I'd be glad to try and get it broadcast on a sky channel programme I make if you could sort out the presenter problem (i.e get a bit more activity for yourself), and clear any copyrights needed.

    If you're looking for a quick and simple fix on the presenter situation, you could do a stack of cut aways of yourself looking more closely at the coasters on the park, queuing-up (if you have to), and maybe (depending on the park, insurance comments and risk factors) include some rider-eye viewpoint footage. This would really brighten up the show. You need to be wearing the same kit, and have a similar background for the weather/sky background.

    Very good.
    I try to make someone happy every day - but it may not be your turn today . . .

  9. #9


    Thankyou all very much for your comments. Our next documentary follows another roller coaster manufacturer and with the script now complete, we are working on various locations and techniques to make it more active, it will include alot more cutaways so as to break away from the presenting (even though we will research our locations more). To be perfectly honest with you, the reason that the background locations were fairly poor and quite distant from the rides was that with it being my first time at presenting I was a little nervous about having other people around. I think I have overcome that now and the next doc will certainly be filmed up close and personal with the roller coasters. I do have a format in mind that I want to try and replicate as close as possible and that is a "Top Gear" approach, I love the way they present their sections with a bit of humour and statistics combined, so if I can achieve a little bit of that look, then I think we may be getting nearer to a reasonable documentary.

Similar Threads

  1. Ghosterforce - More Roller Coasters
    By Martyn in forum User Videos
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-28-2006, 02:06 PM
  2. Making a low budget dvd documentary
    By urbanize in forum General video editing software help and advice
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-27-2006, 12:31 PM
  3. Steadicam Documentary
    By shiner in forum Forum Announcements and News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-22-2006, 07:40 AM
  4. trailer for a documentary I'm putting together
    By chrisV in forum User Videos
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-14-2005, 10:30 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts