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Conventions of a documentary


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  • 1. Conventions of a documentary and Conventions of a Short Film Which do we intend to follow/break?
  • 3. Conventions 1. Hand-held camera • This is used to make the documentary more realistic, and also due to the excess of action in documentaries, hand-held makes it easier to follow. • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THESE CONVENTION. 2. Voiceovers “Voice of authority” - This comes from a narrator who signifies the point of the documentary. - When the narrator is present and talks to the audience. “Voice of God” - This narration comes from someone we cannot see. - Where you can hear the narrators voice throughout, but never see them. An example is here in “The Virtual Revolution”, where the narrator is present and talks to the audience. An example of the voice of God is in, “March of the Penguins” – the narrator is not viewable to the audience but we can hear him throughout.
  • 4. 3. TALKING HEADS. • It is conventional to have members of the public filmed at medium close up. They would be filmed about something that relates to the topic. • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION: • We could interview members of the public in our local city centre, asking them questions such as; • Do you have web 2.0? Have you ever been affected by cyber bullying or know of those who have been victims of it? What would you do if you were targeted? • Here are screen shots from a documentary on eating disorders. They filmed each girls response when asking, “would you put a photo up on Facebook if you looked fat?” Every response, was no.
  • 5. 4. Artificial Footage and Photographs • Archival materials include: - old photographs - newsreel footage - shots from fiction films An effective popular method is using stills photographs. - WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION.
  • 6. 5. Real People • For the most part, the people we see in a documentary are real people. This helps to reinforce the topic of the documentary but presenting true examples, in our case, victims of cyber bullying. WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION. • We plan to contact to see if we can get contact with someone willing to share their story. Past students who filmed a video on an eating disorders, built a relationship with beat bullying and were granted permission for copyright. To the left, is Maddy, a girl who shared her story of her eating disorder making the documentary more moving and effective.
  • 7. 6. Interviews • These are often with experts who are asked questions in relation to the topic. It gives a sense of realism and makes the audience believe that the message delivered is more valid. • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION: • We could interview people that victims of cyber bullying make go to for help, and also victims of cyber bullying themselves as they are experienced and understanding.
  • 8. 7. Expository Convention • - Voiceover address the audience directly and is the dominant convention. • - the voiceover may be either a ‘voice of God’ commentator (heard but not seen) or the ‘voice of authority’ (seen and heard usually an expert in the relevant field. • WE INTEND TO USE THE ‘VOICE OF GOD’.
  • 9. More expository conventions • Images are used to illustrate (or sometimes counterpoint) the voiceover. • Direct relationships between voiceover and images are shown. • Editing is used for continuity, to link together images supporting the argument put forward in the voiceover. • A variety of footage is also used to support the argument. • There is an attempt to persuade the audience of a particular point of view often by appealing to logic and the idea of a common-sense response. • Events are organised to provide the viewer with the solution to a puzzle.
  • 11. 1. Todorov’s equilibrium theory • Todorov’s equilibrium theory is typically applied to shorts films: • - Equilibrium = EVERYTHING IS NORMAL. • - Disequilibrium = A PROBLEM OCCURS. • - New Equilibrium = EVERYTHING IS SOLVED, HOWEVER SOMETHING HAS CHANGED. • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION.
  • 12. 2. Length • Short films are typically “short.” Usually they are limited to a maximum of 35 minutes, however often they last around 5-10 minutes long. If the production lasted longer than 35 minutes, it would be called a ‘feature length.’ • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION.
  • 13. Characters • Short films tend to stick to 2 or 3 characters due to the short time space, the production never has the time to create a back story, so the character numbers are kept low to allow the audience to relate to them in a short amount of time. • WE INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION.
  • 14. 4. Niche audiences • Short films have a lot smaller and niche audience than feature length due to the creative nature, length and simple storyline. • Although they are accessible, many are not aware of short film. This is largely due to popularity decreasing through the 1930′s onwards, and the limited access in mainstream forms such as cinema. • Short film also varies in genre and style and will appeal to a much more specific audience. • WE DO NOT INTEND TO FOLLOW THIS CONVENTION AS WE WISH FOR OUR TOPIC TO BE MADE AWARE TO A MASS MARKET AUDIENCE.
  • 15. Institutions • Our Documentary is designed for Channel 4, so WHAT ARE THE CONVENTIONS OF A CHANNEL 4 DOCUMENTARY?
  • 16. Conventions of a channel 4 documentary? • Target opinion leaders. • Support left wing ideologies – e.g. tends to criticise the Establishment. • Involve resolution, “HELP AND SUPPORT” • ‘Fly on the wall’ and ‘observational’ style. • Tend to deal with taboo topics. • Tend to use presenters. • Like to expose, and shock audience. • Also use talking heads.