A two-column script is an easy way to structure and plan for your documentary project. Even if you don't know what your interviewees will say or what footage you might shoot, writing a script predicting what you want your final film to look like is a great way to stay organized. Once you do shoot your documentary, you can update your two-column script to reflect what video and audio you actually have to work with.
In the left column of your script you will describe all the VIDEO your viewer will see (b-roll, a-roll, photos, diagrams, screen captures, etc.). In the right column, you will describe all the AUDIO the viewer will hear (interview bits, music, narration, sound effects, etc.). Think of each row as one scene in your documentary, with the audio playing over the video.
A storyboard is a visual representation of your digital story. A storyboard can be a helpful alternative or supplement to a script. You don't have to be a great artist to create a storyboard. Stick figures are okay!
Depending on how much detail you want to include, you can draw out every shot or every scene in each storyboard "box". Audio details and other information can be written under each storyboard box.
Click below to download and print a pdf of a storyboard template.
Celtx - An excellent scriptwriting software. You can sign up for a free account or upgrade to get more features.
Cesar Chavez - A sample script for a history documentary about Cesar Chavez
Ten Tips for Effective Brainstorming - Great tips for getting the most out of your brainstorming session. Very useful for groups.
How to Write a Script - A detailed guide by UNESCO for writing a script.