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Review of documentary irennnn

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  • 1. Review of documentary My group had to produce a short documentary about the Lewis Chessman pieces conjunction with British Museum and Chocolate film factory. Our target audience was for people who visits the British museum and wanted more factual information about the Lewis chessman. My group done some research about documentary conventions to find ways to improve and make our documentary as professional looking as it can be. To help us to get an idea of how to make a successful documentary we watched a bit of Biggie & Tupac, Kurt & Courtney, An Inconvient truth and Fahrenheit 911. I learnt some conventions of a documentary are archive footage is a video or picture of the real thing and specific date and timing of when it happened to show historical events or to add additional information in the filming. Another convention is a voice over it’s a commentary or soundtrack during the production this is when the filmmaker can speak directly to the viewer, offering information, explanation and opinions. Another is text and titles simple showing a quick way of conveying information. Lastly another convention we learnt was interviews it’s quite common and it allows people to be filmed and speak directly to the camera about the specific things you need in your documentary. The conventions I’m going to use in my documentary are archival footages, titles and text, voice over and interview everything I explained before. I want to use these because first of all Archival footages will help with showing the Lewis chessman pieces and the historic footages of it. Titles and text to show who’s speaking and tell what’s going on so people will know as the documentary goes along. I would also like to add commentary or soundtrack so if an image shows up of the Lewis chessman pieces a commentator will still be talking behind it about the chessman pieces throughout the video. Lastly I would like to add interviews as well in my documentary I want to use these because it will make my documentary look as professional and give it more sense of realism. I undertook various preproduction tasks to help with making the documentary like researching about the Lewis chessman and its history on the internet and asking questions in interviews with the curator and other people that has a good knowledge of these chess pieces. Also making storyboards to plan out a structure of the way the documentary was going to be set out my group planned
  • 2. to get different shot types outside of the British museum to establish where we was set and were we was filming but into it we added images of the Lewis chessman pieces. These were useful because it helped me and my group to get a clear idea of what we were going to do and gave us a structure of what our documentary was about and it was about the history of the Lewis chessman pieces. The things that went well were the storyboards and the interviews. These were effective because the interviews we gathered all the information we needed to make our documentary as factual as possible as our aim was to make a documentary about the Lewis chessman pieces history that you don’t see on the plaque in the British museum and give facts to people who doesn’t know about it at all. By gathering all the information we needed we was able to give a structure to our documentary and make a storyboard that would make our documentary successful. In the research and planning I could have improved the way we filmed and caught the footage and the archival images we had collected and try to make it a longer length as our documentary was roughly around 3 minutes when we could have done it till 5 minutes. The strengths in the documentary and the actual production process were the footages we had collected many interviews, actual footage of the chessman pieces, close ups of replicas, inside the gallery and outside the British museum even outside. The things that went well with the whole production were the footages and information we added into the documentary. The things that did not go well were the time length of the documentary we made it and the teamwork we always got together and tried to make our documentary as successful but sometimes there would be times were only one person would be in doing all the work for one day. The shots that worked well in our documentary were the panning and close ups outside the British Museum and going down to the columns which gave it a nice effect of where it was established of our documentary also what went well was the shots of the replicas and the Lewis chessman pieces in the gallery it looked good as there was good lightning in the room. The bits that could have been improved were the sounds of the backgrounds when we were catching the footage and some did sound a bit muffled from other tourists passing by at the time in the gallery what makes this documentary a bit less un-professional and hard to hear for the viewers.
  • 3. The editing process of the documentary was a bit hard for me as this was my first time doing anything with editing I found it difficult but luckily I had people in my group who knew few skills and taught me which I added into the documentary like fading visuals, text & titles on live type and the background music on garage band. Things that also went well in the editing process was we had a clear idea in our group of what we was doing and the archival images we added into it but the parts that did not go so well was the time management we kept between in the group as most of the time one person would be poorly to be in and if we had enough time we could of done the documentary a bit longer. We found images that we thought that looked professional but that don’t have a copyright on it but mostly from the British museum website and added into the documentary and we would have a commentator talking facts about it while the images will fade or pop up and this is when the fading visuals came handy as it looked much nicer and more professional then every picture or footage would pop up. My group also made the background music on garage band we made it into a classical upbeat song and after making the background music we placed it on to the footage all way through but quietened when there would be a commentator speaking. The strengths of this documentary are its defines the history of the Lewis chessman pieces but the weakness of this finished documentary is the time length where its 3 minutes short when it should have been 5 minutes we tried to long the shots out but it made it felt to long and boring and we had a aim were we wanted to keep the audience attracted. The plan we had first to make our documentary too we tried to keep but while we started to edit there was a few changed of different shots at the beginning and decided to add some other footage of the Lewis chessman pieces into the documentary. Our target audience was visitors of the British museum who would like to know more about the Lewis chessman and visited the gallery before and would like to know more information about it and we kept it age appropriate to all age so it’s suitable for the family. We made this documentary as professional as possible and we tried to add all the effects and editing skills to make it a successful documentary. After we went to the lecture room in the British museum to show to an audience and gave a speech of what we done in the past 2 months we got feedback from the audience and the main comments we received was it had a good humour to it but
  • 4. had a good historic facts for people who didn’t know nothing about and it’s an educational documentary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IABpeGc233g&safe=active