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Documentary Theory

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Transcript

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