A great activity for everyone


Unleash Your Creativity with Mockumentary: The Ultimate Team-Building Activity!

By Jon Zajac

What is Mockumentary?

The “Mockumentary Icebreaker” is an engaging and entertaining activity that fosters creativity, collaboration, and quick thinking among participants. Its purpose is to introduce team members to each other in a memorable and enjoyable way by having small groups create short, mock-documentary skits. Each group will assign various roles, such as director, actors, scriptwriters, and cameraperson, ensuring everyone is involved in the process. The teams will brainstorm ideas, storyboard their concept, and film their skit, which should be a fictional character, phenomenon, or story presented in a humorous manner.

Once all mockumentaries are complete, participants reconvene to share and view the films together, maintaining a light and fun atmosphere with positive feedback and optional awards for various categories. This activity emphasizes task-focused and socio-emotional components essential for group cohesion, ultimately leading to a memorable experience that can strengthen connections among team members. The “Mockumentary Icebreaker” leaves participants with endearing and hilarious artifacts that can be revisited or shared, becoming a potential cornerstone of the group or organization’s culture.

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Rules for Mockumentary

  1. Divide participants into small groups of 4-6 people.
  2. Provide each group with a camera-enabled device.
  3. Set up a way to playback the footage for collective viewing.
  4. Explain the goal of creating short, mock-documentary skits that humorously portray fictional characters or stories.
  5. Within their groups, participants should assign roles such as director, actors, scriptwriters, and cameraperson.
  6. Allocate a set time for brainstorming ideas, filming, and editing if necessary.
  7. Encourage creativity and comedic elements aligned with the assigned theme (if any).
  8. Participants should create a concept, storyboard/script, film, and (optionally) edit their mockumentary.
  9. Reconvene to share and screen the finished mockumentaries.
  10. Facilitate a reflection session where participants can discuss the experience and how it made them feel more connected.

Remember, the key rules for playing Mockumentary Icebreaker are promoting creativity, collaboration, and maintaining a light-hearted atmosphere to foster group cohesion.

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Materials needed for Mockumentary

  • Camera-enabled devices (smartphones or cameras): Each group will need a device to record their mockumentary. This could be a smartphone or a camera, depending on what is available.

  • Laptop and projector or large screen: If you plan to view the finished mockumentaries as a group, you’ll need a way to play back the footage. A laptop connected to a projector or large screen should do the trick.

  • Optional: Props and costumes: Providing props and costumes can help spur creativity and add an extra element of fun to the activity. These are not necessary, but they can be a nice addition if you have them available.

  • Writing materials for brainstorming and storyboarding: Participants will need something to write with during the brainstorming and storyboarding phases of the activity. You could provide pens and paper, or use a shared document on a digital platform like Google Docs.

  • Editing software (optional): While not strictly necessary, editing software can be used to add special effects or make cuts to the footage. If you have access to editing software and someone with basic editing skills, this could be a fun addition to the activity.

  • Virtual meeting platform (for distributed teams): If your team is working remotely, you’ll need a way to screen share and view the finished mockumentaries together. A virtual meeting platform like Zoom or Google Meet should work well for this purpose.

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Setting up for Mockumentary

To set up for the “Mockumentary Icebreaker” activity, follow these steps:

  1. Participants’ Organization: Determine the number of participants and divide them into small groups of 4-6 people. Assign roles to each group member such as director, actors, scriptwriters, and cameraperson.

  2. Equipment and Resources: Provide camera-enabled devices (smartphones or cameras) for each group. If the videos will be viewed collectively, arrange a laptop hooked to a projector or large screen for playback. While not necessary, having props and costumes available can stimulate creativity.

  3. Setting a Theme (optional): Come up with a broad theme to guide the groups’ creativity and maintain consistency across the mockumentaries. Share this theme with all participants before they begin brainstorming.

  4. Space Allocation: Identify areas within your venue suitable for filming. If space is limited, assign corners or rooms for each group to use during their filming sessions. Make sure there is enough light and minimal background noise in these spaces.

  5. Time Management: Establish a timeline for the activity, including separate time slots for brainstorming ideas, filming, and editing (if applicable). Ensure that all teams are aware of the schedule to maintain structure and efficiency throughout the process.

  6. Viewing & Sharing Setup: If you plan on screening the mockumentaries at a later time or in a different location than where they were filmed, test the setup for visuals and sound to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for all participants.

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How to play Mockumentary

1. Organize Participants into Small Groups Assemble the participants into small groups of 4-6 individuals. This size encourages active involvement from everyone while maintaining a manageable number of people per team.

2. Provide Equipment and Resources Supply each group with a camera-enabled device, such as smartphones or cameras, to create their mockumentaries. If you plan on collectively viewing the videos, prepare a laptop connected to a projector or large screen for playback. Consider offering props and costumes to stimulate creativity.

3. Set a Theme (Optional) To guide the groups’ creativity and maintain consistency among the mockumentaries, establish a broad theme. Examples include “The Life of a Pencil” or “Misunderstood Monsters”. A theme is not required but can help focus participants’ efforts.

4. Explain the Objective Clarify that the goal is to create short, mock-documentary skits that humorously portray fictional characters, phenomena, or stories with an exaggerated or fictional spin. The aim is to engage participants, foster creativity, and encourage collaboration.

5. Distribute Roles within Groups Have participants assign roles such as director, actors, scriptwriters, and cameraperson within their teams. Encourage rotation of roles for a well-rounded experience.

6. Establish a Timeline Allot time for brainstorming ideas, filming, and editing (if desired), with suggested total duration being 1 to 2 hours. This timeline ensures the activity remains efficient while allowing ample opportunity for creativity.

7. Encourage Brainstorming In their teams, participants should ideate on a concept for their mockumentary, emphasizing humor, exaggeration, and alignment with the assigned theme (if any).

8. Guide Storyboarding & Scripting Have teams create quick storyboard sketches or loose scripts to organize ideas and clarify roles.

9. Facilitate Filming Allow teams to disperse for filming if space is available, or allocate separate areas within a single location. Participants then enact and record their short skits.

10. Optional Editing If time and skills permit, teams can do basic editing for added polish. However, raw, unedited footage can convey a charming rawness that showcases the brainstorming and filming process.

11. Gather Participants for Viewing Once all mockumentaries are complete, reconvene to share the creations. This can occur immediately after filming if no editing is involved or at a later time if teams are given more time. Virtual meeting platforms can be used for distributed teams.

12. Screen the Films Present each film in turn, ensuring a comfortable and inclusive viewing experience for all participants.

13. Offer Optional Feedback & Awards Encourage positive feedback among participants and consider humorous awards for categories like “Best Portrayal” or “Most Creative Story”. Maintain a light, fun atmosphere during this process.

14. Reflect on the Experience Facilitate a brief discussion where participants can share their thoughts on the creative process and how it fostered connections among team members. This reflection session helps solidify group cohesion and encourages further conversation beyond typical introductory conversations.

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Benefits of Mockumentary

  • Encourages Creativity: By allowing participants to develop their mockumentaries, I encourage them to think outside the box and come up with imaginative concepts, scripts, and characters. This process fosters creative thinking, which is beneficial in many areas of life and work.
  • Promotes Collaboration: As groups collaborate on their skits, they learn to work together effectively, distribute tasks fairly, and communicate openly. These skills are vital for building strong teams and successful organizations.
  • Develops Quick Thinking: With a limited time frame for brainstorming, filming, and (optionally) editing, participants must make decisions quickly and adapt their ideas on the fly. This fast-paced environment helps sharpen quick thinking and improvisation skills.
  • Boosts Confidence: Performing in front of a camera or group can be intimidating, but it can also help individuals overcome their fear of public speaking. As participants become more comfortable presenting themselves, their self-confidence often grows.
  • Enhances Active Listening: To contribute meaningfully to the skits, participants need to actively listen to each other’s ideas and feedback. This skill is essential for effective communication and understanding among team members.
  • Fosters Emotional Intelligence: By observing others’ reactions, expressions, and body language during filming and viewing, participants can improve their emotional intelligence, empathy, and social awareness.
  • Builds a Stronger Group Culture: The shared experience of creating and watching mockumentaries contributes to a sense of belonging and camaraderie among participants. This strengthened group culture can lead to more open communication, increased trust, and improved collaboration in future projects.

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Skills built with Mockumentary

  • Communication: The Mockumentary Icebreaker activity significantly enhances participants’ communication skills as they engage in discussions, negotiate ideas, and assign roles within their teams. Clear and effective communication becomes crucial for the success of the mockumentary.
  • Creativity: By creating a fictional documentary skit, participants are challenged to think outside the box, fostering creativity. They must develop unique characters, plots, and settings that align with the chosen theme, making it an excellent way to stimulate imaginative thinking.
  • Collaboration: Working in small groups encourages collaboration, as each member contributes their skills and ideas towards a common goal. By sharing responsibilities like directing, acting, scriptwriting, and filming, participants learn to work together effectively and harmoniously.
  • Leadership: The Mockumentary Icebreaker offers opportunities for emerging leaders to step up and guide their teams. Assigning roles, managing time, and coordinating efforts require leadership skills, allowing individuals to practice and develop these abilities in a supportive environment.
  • Adaptability: With the limited time frame and need for quick thinking, participants must learn to adapt to changing circumstances and make decisions on the fly. This skill is essential for success in both personal and professional settings.
  • Time Management: The activity’s timeline forces participants to prioritize tasks, allocate resources efficiently, and work within strict deadlines, thereby improving their time management skills.
  • Technical Skills (optional): If teams choose to edit their footage, they will have the opportunity to learn and practice basic video editing techniques using popular software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. This skill can be beneficial for various personal and professional projects.
  • Empathy and Active Listening: As participants engage in discussions and share ideas, they must listen actively and empathize with their teammates to ensure everyone’s input is considered. These skills are vital for building strong relationships and fostering a positive group dynamic.
  • Confidence and Presentation Skills: Performing in front of a camera or presenting the mockumentary to the larger group can help participants build confidence and improve their presentation skills, making them more comfortable speaking in public or addressing an audience.

By participating in the Mockumentary Icebreaker activity, individuals develop various soft and hard skills that contribute to personal growth and success in professional settings. Moreover, these skills foster a positive atmosphere and strengthen group cohesion, leading to more productive and engaging team interactions.

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Why I like Mockumentary

I appreciate the Mockumentary Icebreaker activity because it offers a refreshing and engaging alternative to traditional icebreakers. By incorporating creative elements such as storyboarding, scriptwriting, and filming, participants are encouraged to think outside the box and collaborate in unique ways. This approach fosters not only social connections but also stimulates cognitive functions, making it an effective and enjoyable team-building exercise.

One of the reasons I enjoy this activity is its flexibility. With optional themes, various roles, and adjustable timeframes, the Mockumentary Icebreaker can be tailored to suit different groups, contexts, and objectives. This versatility ensures that the activity remains engaging and relevant, making it suitable for various settings such as workshops, conferences, or corporate events.

Moreover, the Mockumentary Icebreaker promotes a sense of accomplishment by allowing participants to produce tangible outcomes – their very own mockumentaries. These shared artifacts can serve as conversation starters and reminders of positive experiences long after the activity has ended. In fact, they might even become cherished memories or a source of pride for the group or organization.

Additionally, I find that the Mockumentary Icebreaker successfully balances task-focused and socio-emotional components. By dividing participants into small groups and assigning roles, the activity encourages collaboration and communication while also allowing individuals to contribute their unique skills and ideas. This balance fosters group cohesion and helps create a supportive and inclusive environment where participants feel valued and connected.

Lastly, I appreciate the Mockumentary Icebreaker’s focus on humor and positivity. By encouraging exaggerated and comedic elements, the activity creates a lighthearted atmosphere that puts participants at ease and makes it easier for them to form genuine connections. The optional feedback and awards segment further emphasizes this positive tone, ensuring that everyone feels appreciated and celebrated for their contributions.

In conclusion, I find the Mockumentary Icebreaker to be an entertaining, engaging, and effective icebreaker that promotes creativity, collaboration, and positive social connections. Its versatility, emphasis on task-focused and socio-emotional components, and lighthearted approach make it an excellent choice for various settings and groups, ultimately contributing to a more connected and cohesive community.

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Tips for making Mockumentary more inclusive

  • Tip: Consider the group’s diversity when setting the theme. Opt for open-ended themes that allow participants to incorporate their own experiences and backgrounds.
  • Tip: During brainstorming, encourage every participant to share their ideas. Use inclusive language and make sure everyone has a chance to speak up.
  • Tip: When assigning roles, be mindful of each participant’s comfort level and abilities. Offer role options and ensure that everyone has an active part in the production.
  • Tip: Encourage participants to create characters or stories based on shared experiences rather than stereotypes or exclusive references. This will help foster a more inclusive environment.
  • Tip: Provide closed captioning or transcripts for any spoken content during the screening to accommodate participants who are deaf or hard of hearing, and ensure that all visual elements are large enough to be easily seen by everyone.
  • Tip: During feedback and awards sessions, emphasize positive feedback and constructive criticism. Encourage attendees to appreciate each other’s creativity and unique contributions.
  • Tip: After the activity, gather input from participants on how they felt about the icebreaker and what could be improved for future iterations. This can help you fine-tune the activity to better accommodate all members of your group.

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Reflection questions for Mockumentary

  1. How did you feel about your performance in the mockumentary? Understanding how individuals perceive their own contributions can provide insight into their self-confidence and willingness to participate in similar activities in the future.
  2. What was the most challenging part of creating the mockumentary, and how did you overcome it? This question helps identify potential areas of improvement for the activity and highlights problem-solving skills within the group.
  3. Did you learn anything new about your teammates while working on the mockumentary? By revealing insights gained about others, participants can recognize the value of collaborative activities in fostering a better understanding of their peers.
  4. How do you think the mockumentary icebreaker contributed to building connections within the group? This reflection encourages participants to consider the socio-emotional benefits of the activity and acknowledge its impact on group cohesion.
  5. If given the chance, what would you do differently next time? Reflecting on improvements allows participants to think critically about their experience and identify strategies for future success in similar activities.
  6. How comfortable were you with the assigned roles, and how did they contribute to your overall experience? This question can help facilitators understand if role distribution was effective and whether participants felt engaged throughout the activity.
  7. What was your favorite part of the mockumentary icebreaker, and why? By sharing positive experiences, participants are more likely to maintain a positive attitude towards similar activities in the future.

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About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.

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