Learning how to make a documentary about hip-hop may not be as simple as one would first think. Like any film, there is a process to follow to avoid legal and financial pitfalls.
- Create a script focused on hip-hop. Before making a documentary about hip-hop, you must create a focus for the film in the form of a script. While the content will be based on facts only, as opposed to a traditional film script having creative leeway, the documentary must follow a planned script to assure it stays on focus.
- Get your equipment. Making a documentary about hip-hop should include a lot of music. This musical inclusion will require high tech sound recording equipment and the means to filter and mix the finished product.
- Begin with history. When making a documentary about hip-hop, it is important to begin with the details of its beginnings. This section may be a simple narrative read at the beginning of the film, or created from clips from various artists speaking on the subject.
- Contact the hip-hop artists to be featured. Typically, it is easier to get access to local artists when making a documentary about hip-hop.
- Get needed copyrights for any pictures or film material you use. Hip-hop artists are typically handled by management companies. Prior to using any images of these artists, you must obtain permission from the proper authorities. Sometimes, the artists themselves cannot approve the usage of particular footage of themselves.
- Stay within the limits of your film. When making a documentary about hip-hop, be careful to not veer into other areas of music. Using Gangster Rap or strictly R&B artists will skew your film from its original purpose. If you choose to use artists outside the genre, you will need to alter your original script to include how the genre relates to hip-hop.