Basic Conventions of Documentary. - The Simpsons. - Emma Wylie!
A-Roll FootageA roll footage is mainly based on the important footage within documentaries. They usually contain interviews with important – and relevant – people within the subject. Furthermore, they are normally filmed on a steady camera to make it more professional.
Interviews!In every documentary interviews are used to make it more exciting.They usually involve people who are relevant to the topic, and whocan give extra information, their opinion, or behind the scenes info.Interviews are filmed on a tripod to make it look professional andsophisticated. If handheld cameras were utilised, they would lookamateur. All interviews are filmed in the frame of the rule ofthirds, which shows the subject being either to the far left or right,to make the interview more exciting. This also allows more roomfor props or pictures which could be relevant to the content.
Interviews ContConventionally, the camera will not show theinterviewer, or their questions. The interviewee will beexpected to answer in full sentences, and reveal thequestion, so it can then be either shortened down, orthe question can be cut out. The interviewee will alsobe expected to look at the interviewer, who is to theleft or right of the camera.
Interviews – Mise En SceneThe interviewee will be dressed in attire which reflects their job role, or relevance in the interview. Furthermore, the background pictures in the frame are associated with the documentary. This is usually added by Chroma Key, or blue screen, which allows the interview to take place on a green or blue screen, then add a background which could look more exciting. Furthermore, the lighting of the interview needs to be high key so the subject can be seen clearly. Always lit from the front and never in front of a window.
Interviews Camera ShotsDifferent camera shots are used to make thedocumentary more exciting. Throughout thedocumentary, different types of shot sizes andframing is used so can add variety and make it moreenjoyable. Far left. Medium Shot. Far Right. Medium/Long Shot Far left. Medium shot.
The main subject is in agreement to the rule of three High key lighting is frequent and makes the interviewee stanad out. His attire is also quiteand fits the first line. This shows that Matt Groening is formal and implies that he is in a higher jobon the far left, with the characters that he created on [which is seen as we see he is the creator ofthe right. Simpsons] High key lighting to show the interviewee’s face well. Relevant characters are eitherThere are titles of the name of the interviewee, as well as edited in using Chrome Key, ortheir role in the industry. This gives insight as to who it is. are in the background. They addIt is also at the bottom of the screen away, not covering context to the conversation andanyone or anything as that would be in the way. say about what the interview is about.
B-Roll FootageB-Roll footage is used so it can be edited together so can be made into a montage so supplement andaccompany the main interviews. The footage will berelevant and can be associated with the documentary topic. The footage can include vox pops, presenter, archive footage and/or cutaway shots.
Cutaway ShotsA cutaway shot is used to accompany an interview and show what theinterviewee is describing. For example, if the interviewee is discussing awards,a list of awards could be shown. In The Simpsons documentary, this isshown as the ‘Hollywood Legend’, James, is describing a gift he got once. Thedocumentary then shows the gift which he received. And then cuts back to hisinterview so he can move on to a new topic of conversation. Part 1 of the interview. Cut to shot of gift Part 2 of interview
Establishing Shots & Archive Footage Within many documentaries establishing shots are utilised to indicate where the main places – or people – are. It also gives a background as to where interviews could take place, and will be associated with the documentary.Archive footage is also used to show old facts, or old footage which relates to the documentary.
Still photographs & Vox popsStill pictures can be used to describe the point that the interviewee is making and emphasise on it. Whilst being on screen, the camera may pan or zoom in or out on the photographs.Vox pops are clips of interviews with the general public and are only used in small clips. They are used to show their opinions, and also breaks up the documentary to make it more exciting. It is usually filmed on handheld cameras.
Presenters and Voice Over Narration A presenter is always found in documentaries, and usually introduces the next segment of the documentary. They deliver a carefully written speech and will anchor the meaning of the visual images to improve the understanding of the topic.The presenter or narrator will usually have an authoritative voice to make it more formal.