Lecture 8Today’s lecture was devoted to preparation for our presentations for the documentary, wewere told what to expect and how to prepare for it, this helped me to have an understandingof what was expected and what I needed to do to prepare.We started the lecture looking at how to pitch our presentations for the documentaries for the firsthour of the lecture.We then watched and examined documentaries, looking at visual signatures, soundtracks and otherconstructive elements.*The rest of these notes are also in my Research section on Yola*In lecture we watched and examined a BBC documentary about the universe and expansion.In most documentaries voice is heard before seeing people.Voice of god introduces themes which are then defined by experts who talk about the topic. Thevoice of God simplifies the topic which is then elaborated by the expert. This is supported by a visualsignature – the thing they are talking about. Another frequently used feature in documentaries arecaptions, they can be used to show names of people, to make quotes, facts, figures and can usuallysubstitute an expert.A repeating aesthetic is often a visual signature which becomes accepted by the audience. They usea lot of voice of God with graphic signature, it relaxes you down to see and understand what is goingon. The visuals are used because it is aimed at an audience who potentially do not fully understandthe subject and topic. Signatures are also used as cutaways to cut to closer shots smoothly.Documentaries also use visual metaphors such as the BBC4 documentary Parallel worlds, Parallellives where the theory of parallel universes get explained with a visual metaphor of cloning theprimary subject person in the documentary to show the parallel universe being created. Anothersignature used was the music used and the pictures of the primary’s father to reflect on the past andconnect with the audience on an emotional level. Top Gear use a visual signature of a map with carstravelling from point A to B to explain the journey to the audience – We are going to use this as avisual signature in our documentary to show the progression of the journey that the travellersundertake and where they have travelled from and ended up.There is a motive signature soundtrack which is related to the documentary theme (space music fora documentary about the universe). I plan to use a signature soundtrack in my documentary, asthere isn’t a particular theme (rather an event) the music will relate to the moods of the scenes – if itis raining and we have no dry place to sleep for example we would use depressing music or an ironicsoundtrack such as raindrops by B.J Thomas. This would give the documentary a dramatic sense.
Documentaries often use repeated content and summaries. This reinforces the points made andhelps to drill in the information. We are not educating in our documentary and therefore we willonly use repeated content to look back on what has happened to show the progression of thetravellers and to summarise what has happened to show where they are now and remind the viewerhow they got there.Our documentary is more decisive than expert driven, the audience will be able to relate to thecharacters and will not be antagonised by the way the documentary is delivered.2nd Units are used in documentaries to get other shots, stills and close ups, they are often roamingand ready to capture live, decisive moments that the primary camera might miss.4th Wall Documentary is used in documentary when audience involvement is used – in film the filmstops and the protagonist would talk to the camera. This is a rising convention in documentary. Wecould use this in our documentary to make it different and to address the audience to make themfeel more participatory.Adam Curtis – a controversial documentary film maker. (Tower of nightmares) – I am going toresearch Adam Curtis more because he makes use of 4th wall.Point Of View shots are rarely used in documentaries however sometimes they can be – I plan to usea lot of POV in our documentary to show the view of the travellers which will again make theaudience feel more participatory and help them to relate to the documentary and the travellers.Grey Gardens – About a mum and a daughter that live in a house.