Arts & Entertainment

Filmmaker Ken Burns’s Top Tips for Documentary Cinematography

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Sep 24, 2021 • 5 min read

Among the storytelling elements at your disposal, the one most integrally linked to filmmaking is cinematography. Since documentarian John Grierson coined the term “documentary” in 1926, documentary cinematographers have been using the movie camera to tell compelling, authentic stories. However, unlike a narrative Hollywood film, the responsibilities and filmmaking techniques required of a non-fiction cinematographer often vary from moment to moment.