Documentaries
By Martha Niklas
Genre
The purpose of the documentary is to document i.e. to
report with evidence something that has actually
happened. Thi...
Types of documentary
• Fully narrated
• An off-screen voiceover is used to make sense of
the visuals and dominates their m...
Fly on the wall
Cinema verité
The camera record the subjects without inference.
This is so viewers have their own opinions...
Mixed
Uses a combination of interviews, observation and
narration
They might also use some archive material for
example, w...
Self Reflective
Subjects of doc acknowledge presence of camera and
often speak directly to the documentary maker
For examp...
Drama (docudrama)
Re-enactment of events as they are supposed to have
happened
Docusoap
Combined elements of doc soap oper...
Features of documentaries
Observation- the „unseen‟ observation places the
audience in the role of eye witnesses to the re...
Mise En Scene
Documentaries make carful compose shots so they
contain images they want the audience to see and
are relatab...
Exposition
Line of argument in a documentary, its what it is
getting across to the audience.
Types of narrative structure
Open
Loose ends
Unanswered questions
For example- soap operas follow this structure to entice...
Linear
Follows chronological order
Non- linear
Doesn‟t follow chronological order and uses
flashbacks/forwards
Single strand
One narrative thread
Multi-strand
More than one often these converge or overlap
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Documentaries

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Documentaries

  1. 1. Documentaries By Martha Niklas
  2. 2. Genre The purpose of the documentary is to document i.e. to report with evidence something that has actually happened. This can be shown through the use of Actuality footage or reconstructions. Also, a documentary is factual.
  3. 3. Types of documentary • Fully narrated • An off-screen voiceover is used to make sense of the visuals and dominates their meaning • Anchors the meaning of the visuals (pinning down the meaning of the image) For example Natural history (penguins)
  4. 4. Fly on the wall Cinema verité The camera record the subjects without inference. This is so viewers have their own opinions and conclusions of each person.
  5. 5. Mixed Uses a combination of interviews, observation and narration They might also use some archive material for example, world war photos (someone else‟s shots)
  6. 6. Self Reflective Subjects of doc acknowledge presence of camera and often speak directly to the documentary maker For example Katy Price
  7. 7. Drama (docudrama) Re-enactment of events as they are supposed to have happened Docusoap Combined elements of doc soap opera genre For example Airline, The Hotel (all involve the same “characters”
  8. 8. Features of documentaries Observation- the „unseen‟ observation places the audience in the role of eye witnesses to the realities portrayed The subject doesn't acknowledge the camera (address interviewer instead) Relies on interviews Dramatisation- all documentaries use a sense of drama throughout the observation element Events seem to occur naturally in front of the camera
  9. 9. Mise En Scene Documentaries make carful compose shots so they contain images they want the audience to see and are relatable to the context.
  10. 10. Exposition Line of argument in a documentary, its what it is getting across to the audience.
  11. 11. Types of narrative structure Open Loose ends Unanswered questions For example- soap operas follow this structure to entice the audience and want them to watch the next episode. Closed No loose ends or unanswered questions
  12. 12. Linear Follows chronological order Non- linear Doesn‟t follow chronological order and uses flashbacks/forwards
  13. 13. Single strand One narrative thread Multi-strand More than one often these converge or overlap
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