In what ways does your media product use forms and conventions of real media products? Ryan Davies A2 Media Adam Robson
Interviews In all documentaries, we can see that every interview is framed in a specific way; the interviewee is always on the far-left or far-right of the screen, and never talks directly to the camera. They always talk to the person asking them the questions. These questions are always edited out so that the interview can be used in context or to connect one segment of the documentary to another. The interviewee must answer in full sentences for this technique to work. During an interview with someone of vital importance to the documentary, usually someone who works in the field related to the documentary’s chosen topic. Our documentary, A Moment on the Lips, follows all of these conventions in all of the interviews and vox pops conducted.
Graphics The graphics used in our documentary are similar to those used in real documentaries in order for us to stick to the conventions of documentary filmmaking. The intro sequence has the title of the documentary being eaten by someone, with bites appearing in the words and a chomping noise dubbed over. This is something like what would be expected of a diet-related documentary. During interviews, the name of the interviewee fades in and out over the footage along with their occupation, which is there to give the audience an indication of the person’s involvement and relevance to the documentary.
Narrative structure The narrative structure of our documentary is typical of that type of documentary, with the narrator telling the viewer what the documentary will entail at the very beginning. The interviews are placed where they usually go in professional documentaries, as are all other pieces of footage.
Cutaways The cutaways we used in our documentary were of diet pills and food being prepared in a cafeteria. We overlaid these cutaways over interviews at times when the interview seemed to drag on, or when the interviewee was talking about something seen in the cutaway. This sticks to the conventions of documentary filmmaking as professional products also exhibit this technique.
Vox pops Our vox pops were taken in Stockton Heath in Warrington. We chose this location because, as a place for people to shop, we knew we’d be able to find at least a few people willing to be briefly interviewed for the documentary. We found one man and two women, who gave us their opinions on anorexia and the media’s influence on dieting habits. The vox pops were within the conventions of documentaries as they were conducted spontaneously on the street.
Narration The voiceover for the documentary was performed by Edward Evans. He was chosen for this role due to his well-spoken nature and eloquent demeanour. It was agreed that Edward was the perfect person voiceover artist for this documentary as the gentle voice he adapted for the voiceover helped to convey the seriousness of the documentary’s subject matter. For the documentary’s radio trailer, we used narration from both Edward and someone called Max Gaskell. Max’s voiceover consisted solely of announcing the documentary’s broadcast details at the end of the trailer; we did this so that Edward’s narration was easily associated with the documentary itself, and not just the trailer, as his voiceover in the radio trailer was taken from his documentary voiceover.
Music We used Massive Attack’s Teardrop in the radio trailer and the documentary itself as the theme song. We used the same song for both products to easily connect them to each other in the same theme. During the documentary, we used Kevin MacLeod’s Wounded over certain bits of footage to highlight the sensitive and tender nature of the upcoming or current footage. This is the sort of music audiences would expect from a sombre documentary.
Archive material We used archive footage from various news reports on anorexia and the dangers of diet pills. Sticking with the rules and conventions of documentary-making, only 10% of our finished documentary was comprised of archive footage