Natalie PaceFollow

Publication Date



School of Visual and Performing Arts


Cinematic Arts


Narrative Film, Documentary Film, Film, Documentary, Narrative, Storytelling, Post Production, Point of View, Chronology, Pacing, Montage, Music, Editing


Composition | Film Production | Other Film and Media Studies | Other Music | Screenwriting


Documentaries and narrative films both tell stories in different ways. A common saying states that narrative filmmakers write one movie, shoot another, and edit a third. In postproduction, timelines are rearranged, montages are created, new dialog and voiceovers are written, and the score can alter the mood and meaning entirely. Documentaries can change even more over the course of their creation. Usually, the script of the documentary is not written until the edit, after most of the interviews and B roll have been shot. This paper examines whether documentary post-production makes more or less use of storytelling techniques than does narrative post-production, as exemplified by the author’s completion of three proof-of-concept documentary videos and one narrative short film.