I have been studying the codes and conventions of documentaries and have also been looking at how documentaries can follow and deviate from the codes. I have analysed That thing... Lara Croft which is a documentary that looks at a character from a video game and shows how her image has been created and how its grown.
Type Of Documentary The documentary on Lara Croft follows convention as it’s a mixed documentary and uses both narration and archive material to inform the viewers. This type of documentary is the most popular out of the different types
Themes There are many different themes that can be seen throughout the documentary such as the gaming culture, representation of women and the sexualisation of women but once again there is always an underlying theme of the power of the media which follows conventions form the documentaries I’ve been studying.
Camera Work The camera work that can be seen follows codes and conventions of documentaries and interviews for example in the interviews close ups, medium close and also in parts big close ups are used. Throughout the documentary pans are used to skim across images and quick cuts are used in between questions, interviews and other archive material showing footage from the video game and footage from the Lara Croft movie.
Lightingand Editing low key lighting is used and this is seen as unconventional however it is used to create impact and fit with the theme of gaming. Super imposed images are used as well as montages which are used for impact and as a stylistic feature. In parts green screen technology is used to create a background to the interviews where images of Lara Croft are put into the shots afterwards. Some conventional editing is used in the documentary such as Montages and cuts as well as quick cuts and fades however the documentary doesn’t follow the convention of using elliptical editing as it’s not needed due to the fact that the documentary isn’t set over a large period of time.
Sound The sound used in the documentary is mainly background music that sounds very electronic which fits in with the theme and the topics being discussed in the movie, also in parts sound bytes are used of from the Lara Croft video game and sound effects from the movie and game can also be heard.
Archive Material Conventional archive material is used throughout the documentary such as interviews, press and magazine reviews and the these are used to create some factuality to the discussion and also add other peoples views on the video game and movie, also in parts footage of the game is used as well as sections of the movie and behind scenes footage of the making of the movie.
Graphics The main graphics that can be seen in the documentary are during the interview where chromakey is always used to show the name and occupation of the interviewee and this is put in a White Sans Serif font to make it easy to read for the viewers at a glance, Chromakey is always featured to the bottom left of the interviews.
Narrative Structure The narrative structure of the documentary is non- linear as there is no chronology to the way it’s narrated due to the fact that there is no order to what the questions are about, the questions in no specific order and still make sense.