Documentary filmmakers, no less than dramatic writers, strive to tell powerful stories that are often dictated by characters and have a beginning, middle and an end, something at stake, growing tensions and a narrative arc that keeps the viewer active. Unlike the dramatists, however, feature films can not invent characters and action points, but find them in the raw material of real life. "The documentary film maker has a passion for what he finds in images and sounds - which always makes more sense to him than anything he can invent. By selecting and organizing his discoveries, he expresses himself. If the film is to be a documentary and not propaganda, then this creative arrangement must lead to a work that does not only meet the standards of good storytelling but also good journalism.
How does documentary film makers tell a story of journalistic integrity that still wants a dramatic power? There are no strict rules. One of the strengths of the documentary film is the variety of forms and styles, be it calendar films, direct films, archive histories, scientific papers or other topics. However, to bring together the techniques of drama and documentary, some basics can be applied.