Documentary Theory IMS/English 224
Four Documentary Modes (Nichols) <ul><li>Expository </li></ul><ul><li>Observational </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></u...
Expository Mode <ul><li>Filmmaker narrates in voiceover but isn’t in scene </li></ul><ul><li>Often incorporates historical...
Observational Mode <ul><li>Filmmaker is “fly on the wall”--neither seen nor heard. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of long takes (n...
Interactive <ul><li>Filmmaker influences and participates in the events on the screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews are co...
Reflexive <ul><li>Documentary filmmaker comments on his or her own role in constructing the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes...
Elements of documentary <ul><li>Voiceover narration </li></ul><ul><li>Titles and subtitles </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </...
Documentary as Rhetoric <ul><li>Ethos  (credibility of the filmmaker and the characters) </li></ul><ul><li>Identification ...
Audience Analysis <ul><li>What do they already know about topic? What must be explained? </li></ul><ul><li>Why might they ...
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Documentary Theory

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Transcript of "Documentary Theory"

  1. 1. Documentary Theory IMS/English 224
  2. 2. Four Documentary Modes (Nichols) <ul><li>Expository </li></ul><ul><li>Observational </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Reflexive </li></ul><ul><li>(films can combine more than one mode) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Expository Mode <ul><li>Filmmaker narrates in voiceover but isn’t in scene </li></ul><ul><li>Often incorporates historical footage and photographs. </li></ul><ul><li>May include interviews (but the questions are never heard / scene) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Observational Mode <ul><li>Filmmaker is “fly on the wall”--neither seen nor heard. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of long takes (no interviews) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Interactive <ul><li>Filmmaker influences and participates in the events on the screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews are common (and we see the filmmaker conducting them) </li></ul><ul><li>Filmmaker often has a point of view (doesn’t pretend to be “objective”) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reflexive <ul><li>Documentary filmmaker comments on his or her own role in constructing the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes us conscious we are watching a manipulated story. </li></ul><ul><li>Offers a statement about the art of documentary itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Often addresses the filmmakers ethical responsibility </li></ul>
  7. 7. Elements of documentary <ul><li>Voiceover narration </li></ul><ul><li>Titles and subtitles </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>B-Roll footage </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic event footage </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul>
  8. 8. Documentary as Rhetoric <ul><li>Ethos (credibility of the filmmaker and the characters) </li></ul><ul><li>Identification (establishing points of connection with audience) </li></ul><ul><li>Pathos (emotional appeal) </li></ul><ul><li>Logos (arguing from common enthymematic assumptions; using evidence valued by audience) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Audience Analysis <ul><li>What do they already know about topic? What must be explained? </li></ul><ul><li>Why might they identify with your story (or be bored or offended by it)? </li></ul><ul><li>What genre expectations do they have for documentary video (mode, style, topic)? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of evidence do they value? </li></ul>
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