Question 1: In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Chloe Perchard
Existing Documentary Influence When planning an idea for our documentary, I was interested by documentaries on Channel 4 and BBC, especially those about the development of young children. One documentary in particular made an impact to the decision of making our own media product, BBC1’s Panorama series featured an episode about video game addiction in children. The main focus was about the negative effects of video games and why parents should prevent their children from becoming involved with them. This sparked the idea of making a documentary about the benefits of new media in children’s education and to give parents a positive outlook to challenge the negative views on new media used by children.
These are screen captures from the real media products that were not only influencial but they are also linked to our own media product.Both of these documentaries are about the development of children:Channel 4’s ‘Supernanny’ is a documentary series where troublesome children learn to develop better behaviour, disipline and relationships with their parents and siblings.At first the focus is of the negative of the child’s behaviour before Jo visits the household, then afterwards the focus becomes positive. BBC 1’s ‘Panorama’ is a documentary series that investigates a specific subject in each episode. In this particular episode, the issue of video game addiction amongst children is raised and the main focus is the negative effects of new media influence.
Expository - Voiceover, addresses the audience directly. “Voice of authority” heard but not seen. Images used to illustrate voiceover. Persuasive point of view. (Eg:London Can Take It )
Observational - Location shooting, handheld cameras. Long shots dominate. Direct sound recording. No voiceover / interviews. Film makers hidden. (Eg: Listen To Britain, Something Great)
Participatory (interactive) - Filmmakers interact with the subject, interviews dominate. Use of archive material. Voiceover. (Eg:Brixton Beach, Supersize Me)
Reflexive– Dramatic techniques from fiction films for emotional response. Suggestive rather than factual. (Eg: Camoflauge, Man On Wire)
Performative– Filmmakers interact with the subject and are involved with the documentary. Often shaped to the narrative of investigation. Addresses the audience in an emotional and direct way. (Eg: Grizzly Man)
Examples of Interactive Documentary Since our documentary is more in the mode of interactive, these are some examples of interactive documentaries and how they are related to our media product. ‘Brixton Beach’ ‘Supersize Me’
Our Documentary The media product we have produced uses forms and conventions of interactive / participatory documentary because: We (the filmmakers) are interacting with the children, interviews are dominant, there is a voiceover, a handheld camera was used for some of the footage and we used archive material.Direct sound was used but also we had non-diegetic background music to make the documentary more interesting and to keep the attention of the audience. The non-diegetic music was chosen to fit the mood of the scene it featured in.
Challenging Other Media Products Our documentary challenges the real media products like the ‘Panorama’ episode because we are showing a positive outlook instead of the typical cynical view.The aim of our media product is to inform the audience of the benefits of new media use in education.By doing so we are challenging the opposing argument that new media use has only negative effects.