After analysing this documentary I have come to the conclusion that it is adocusoap. A docusoap includes;• Observation• Voice overs• Informal interviewsA docusoap is also a documentary series. ‘Thelma’s Gypsy Girls’ ran for 6episodes, therefore since the programme includes all of the above itwould be classed as a docusoap.
There are themes in this documentary however not that many have beenrepresented in this first episode of ‘Thelma’s Gypsy Girls’. I could only spottwo themes, these were;• Different cultures – the Gypsy’s live a different way to other people aroundthem. They live in caravans while someone like Thelma lives in a big house.• Money issues - Thelma experiences money issues when she is moving to abigger venue, it cost a lot more than she thought to buy and do up theplace.
This documentary is a single stranded narrative. This means that there isone main storyline. That storyline is about Thelma hiring 10 Gypsy girlsto train for 6 months at her dress making shop and at the end of thecourse one of them will be able to get a permanent job at Thelma’sshop.There are binary oppositions used in this programme with the Gypsygirls and Westernised girls. They act very different. The Gypsy girls areloud and don’t have much respect for the workspace while theWesternised girls are respectful and get on with their work.
Lots of different camerawork is used throughout the programme. When Thelmafinishes talking about how the Gypsy girls live the camera cuts to different Gypsy girlsdoing their everyday routine; cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. Thisgives the audience an idea of how they live. During interviews mid shots and close ups are used. It depends which one is used because it could signify how they are feeling or is linked to what they are talking about. The person is then positioned to the left or right of the screen. Different interviews switch sides to keep the audience engaged.
Close ups of different items which are making the dresses are used, this anchors thatthe programme is based around dress making. We see people using a sewingmachine, cutting material, string unwinding and some gluing diamonds onto a dress.An over the shoulder shot is used when a builder is sitting down talking to Thelmaabout the cost of her new venue for work. This shot is used so the audience canhear what he has to say but also see Thelma’s reaction as that is important.
The Gypsy girls wear very colourful clothes, they like things which standout therefore they stand out in the crowd.The background of interviews usually relates to what they are talkingabout, however since they are informal interviews the person is justasked questions where ever they are. Although the topic is usuallyabout dress making, they are in a studio full of dresses so it is easy tobe placed by a related subject.
A male voice over is used thought this documentary which pushes thenarrative forward. He speaks in Standard English.There are adverts in this documentary, therefore when the programme’sadverts come on a little fun tune fades the documentary out along withthe title of the documentary. This is to keep the audience entertained. Thetune sounds good and fits in well with theme of the documentary. Belowis a screenshot showing how the documentary parts close.
The male voice over used was added in post production.One shot Thelma is talking about how her life used to be, the camera thencuts to images showing the audience what she was like. This gives theaudience a feel of where she has come from and that she has been through alot to get to where she is now.
When people are being interviewed, the questions are kept in so that theaudience knows what the person answering is talking about. This was theirdecision to do this, they may have decided to cut the questions out howeverthen the answers would not have made sense.A part in this documentary, Thelma is talking about moving to a new/biggervenue to carry on her dress making. As she is talking the camera cuts to whatshe is talking about (people moving stuff from the shop into a van), althoughher voice carries through to a voice over. This is to keep the audienceinformed in what is going on but still hear Thelma.
The archive material includes;• The dress making• We see the Gypsy girls at their home
When people are being interviewed a pink ribbon appears on the bottomleft of the screen. This tells the audience who they are, (if they work in thefactor) what they do or (if they are one of the Gypsy girls) how old they are.This lets the audience know more about the person talking.
Also at the bottom of the screen the audience will sometimes see the month and year.This lets the audience know how far into the project they are as it is only for 6 months.This only other graphic seen is translation across the bottom of the screen, this issometimes used when Gypsy’s are talking to make sure the audience knows what theyare talking about.