Research into TV documentaries
style and influences
Style of documentary produced in the 1960s
Came about as a result of the availability of cheap portable lightweight
equipment making it easier to carry around
Aimed at objectivity: no narrator, simple fly on the wall techinque by watching
people’s lives and events that are happening. Leaving it up to the audience to
draw a conclusion.
Approach is in direct contrast to the traditional documentaries.
Rules of direct cinema:
No interviews included
No rehearsals prior to filming
No staging events or commentary
No film lights
No edits used
Examples: D A Pennebaker ‘Don’t Look Back’ (1968)
Has had a massive influence on reality TV, docu-soaps, video diaries
• Styles of European film making in the early 1960s
using documentary techniques such as hand held
camera to convey life as realistically as possible.
• Similar to Direct Cinema but CV believe that the
film makers opinions should be expressed- art as
propaganda. CV uses interviews also whereas DC
• Linked to ‘Social Realist’ tradition fiction film.
• Use direct cinema techniques to give a fly on
the wall insight to the day to day working life.
• Popular genre which is often
informative, humorous and sometimes critical
in the way in which these places of work are
Take ordinary, common experience and look
at it through the eyes of the public. Are called
Docu-soaps because they are similar to the
soap operas in terms of:
• Fast editing
• Multi-strand narrative
• Part of a series often left on a cliff hanger
Public Affairs Documentary
• Probably the most traditional of
documentary formats‘Paranorma’, ‘Dispatches’.
• Usually shown by public service broadcasting
channels such as BBC, Channel 4 normally
discussing or investigating current
• Descended from DC, seen by the audiences as
reliable and truthful as to the subject that is
being filmed themselves.
• An off shoot of this are documentaries which
use technology as entertainment such as
‘Police, camera, action.’
These documentaries will be
exploring social issues and may be
demonstrated in a drama like style
to show the issue that is or has
• Film documentaries that are shown in cinemas
• This could be about pop stars, famous
people, sports etc.
• This could be for example like Supersize
me, whereby looking at the impacts of fast
foods and the day to day life and been created
into a movie.
• This is a form of documentary that is created
in a comic form, this can be used for children