Rock & Roll Exposed is a mixed
documentary using interviews
and archive footage to look at
the work of photographer Bob
Gruen and his relationship with
the emerging bands of the
1980s New York punk scene.
The documentary is completely
narrated by the answers given
by those interviewed.
We are introduced to Bob Gruen and his work alongside artists
and professionals working at that time. The documentary
continues to explore his work and his personal connections with
many bands that allowed him to take images others would not
have been able to shoot. The documentary finishes with the
interviewees explaining how music began to change, and lose
something, this lead Bob to decide he would retire from is work in
The use of camera work in this documentary is fairly
typical of the genre, mainly Close-ups and mid-shots are
used those being interviewed are placed on one of the
lines following the rule of thirds and look into the space.
The use of still images videos helps to explain visually what is being
said, and represents the decade being discussed.
The backgrounds chosen are all relevant but neutral, so as not to
distract the audience from the people involved. The only person who
is perhaps in a non-neutral setting is Alice Cooper who is placed in
front of a tombstone, however this reflects his iconic persona well.
Non-diegetic sound is used to infer a feeling of
80s on the audience, using music by bands being
discussed or featured in the photographs shown.
There is no narrative voice used in this
documentary, only the audio from the interview
is what provides the exposition.
There are consistent simple transitions
used throughout the documentary to cut
between interviews and archive footage.
A film-like effect is used, keeping with
the theme of the documentary.
A number of times we see a stereoscopic
view of some of the
photographs, beginning with a close up
of the background and zooming out to
show a 3D version of some of Gruen’s
work, this makes the audience feel more
like they are actually there.
The use of
is heavily relied
upon in this film,
as it is the basis
for the whole
Gruen’s work are
audience a real
view at what the
The documentary uses graphics to show the names of those
being interviewed, this is done with what looks like a piece of
film in the corner of the screen, although the attention of the
audience is taken away, it is effective as it reinforces the theme
as well as the ‘big names’ who they have managed to