Features of a documentary

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Features of a documentary

  1. 1. Emma Riddiough
  2. 2. John Carner – there are five central elements to documentaries which are:  Observation:- the programme makers pretend that the camera is unseen or ignored by the people taking part in the events; e.g. It places the audience as an “eye witness” to the events  The Interview:- TV documentaries rely on interviews. The interviewee addresses the unseen interviewer instead of the audience. Interviews are intercut with images of observation to illustrate what they are talking about  Dramastation:- All documentaries use a sense of drama throughout the observation element  Mis-en-scene:- documentary makers carefully compose shots so that they contain images they want the audience to see  Explosion:- The line of argument, and the way the argument “unfolds”
  3. 3.  Gatekeeping is about the selection and rejection of information Gatekeeper = producers Selected Information Rejected Information
  4. 4. Open vs. Closed  Open – where there are questions left unanswered (soap opera)  Closed – where no questions are left unanswered (finding nemo) Single Strand vs. Multi-Strand  Single Strands – there is only one narrative thread (finding nemo)  Multi-Strands – more than one thread, and sometimes they do converge but not always (soap opera) Linear vs. Non-Linear  Linear – chronological order; e.g. Order of time – adverts  Non-Linear – doesn’t follow chronological order; e.g. Flash forward/ backward; e.g. The time travellers wife  Circular – at the end of the narrative has gone full circle; e.g. Dead of Night

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