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Codes and conventions of documentaries

Codes and conventions of documentaries






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    Codes and conventions of documentaries Codes and conventions of documentaries Presentation Transcript

    • Narrative Structure  Nearly all the documentaries are single stranded  There are themes that run through the documentary  Voice over holds narrative together but also creates meaning for the audience
    • Camerawork  Establishing shots are used to anchor the meaning of the documentary  Interviews are filmed in close up, medium close up or sometimes in big close ups; and are framed to the left or right of the screen  Handheld camerawork is used to show actuality footage, adding to the atmosphere of what they’re talking about  Interviews follow the rule of thirds  A variety of camera shots and angles are used  Creative camerawork  Zooms and panning shots used to show still images
    • Voice Over  Anchors meaning  Offers various facts and figures allowing the audience to form opinions  Voice over – gender /age is relevant to the topic; e.g. it has to appeal to the target audience  Holds the narrative together  Standard English is used; e.g. normally calm and clear
    • Mise-en-scene  Use of chromakey makes the background of the interviews relevant  Interviews – backgrounds are relevant to either the subject or the person who’s being interviewed  Lighting is creative  Background – needs to be relevant and has to fit in with the subject; e.g. location  The clothing that the interviewee/person who’s being filmed has to have relevance to the topic
    • Sound  Has to have relevance to the topic  Used to highten the emotion or to build the narrative  Music/Background noise helps to set the scene  Voice over or Narrator is used  Special effects are used in reconstruction  Questions edited out of interviews
    • Graphics  White text is often used as it stands out  Title stands out (bold) and is unique, as it helps reflects the topic/ subject  Credits scroll up the screen; e.g. pays tribute to the archive footage and material that's been used  Titles used in interviews anchors who they are and the relevance they have to a documentary; e.g. usually shown on the opposite side of the screen  Anchor's time
    • Archive Material  Can be accompanied by music; e.g. sound bed, under visuals  Always relevant to the topic  Good variety can be used; e.g. films, videos, tv clips, newspapers, photos  Can zoom/pan over archive materials  Voice over anchors the meaning of the documentary together, whilst explaining what it is
    • Editing  Cuts are most commonly used  Dissolves  Slow and Fast motion aids in emphasising the atmosphere  Interviews are normally one to two minutes at a time  Montage editing  Effect are used; e.g. fade to black/ elliptical editing