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Conventions of-documentary


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Conventions of-documentary

  1. 1. CONVENTIONS OF DOCUMENTARY What makes a documentary a documentary?
  2. 2. Conventional Expectations of a Documentary <ul><li>Non-fiction </li></ul><ul><li>About the ‘real’ (historical, political cultural events etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Unstaged’ </li></ul><ul><li>Based on observation rather than intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Informative, educational </li></ul>
  3. 3. Voiceover <ul><li>The voiceover will usually be authoritative in some way, encouraging the audience to think that they either have some kind of specialist knowledge or, as in the case of people like Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield: ‘the right’ opinions that people should pay attention to. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Film language used to shape realism <ul><li>Placing the audience in the action </li></ul><ul><li>Location Shooting </li></ul><ul><li>Uneven, hand-held camerawork </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Light </li></ul><ul><li>Following the action </li></ul><ul><li>Film-maker’s visible presence </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous sound recording </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with witnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Amateur effect </li></ul><ul><li>Techniques that allow the audience to be ‘objective’ </li></ul><ul><li>Voiceover </li></ul><ul><li>Archive footage </li></ul><ul><li>Expert testimonial </li></ul><ul><li>Material shaped into a narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Material structured into an argument </li></ul>
  5. 5. ‘ Real’ footage of events <ul><li>Documentary is essentially seen as ‘non-fiction’ although there are debates around this. </li></ul><ul><li>However, a convention of documentary is that all events presented to us are to be seen as ‘real’ by the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Documentarians often go to great lengths to convince us that the footage is real and unaltered in anyway, although editing and voiceover can affect the ‘reality’ we, as viewers, see. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technicality of realism <ul><li>Including ‘natural’ sound and lighting (suburbia city sounds, non diagetic sounds ) </li></ul><ul><li>The way the shots are taken to create realism </li></ul><ul><li>Not everything is filmed so its un real although the it has elements of real life examples </li></ul>
  7. 7. Archive footage/stills <ul><li>To aid authenticity and to add further information which the film maker may be unable to obtain themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Documentaries which look at historical events have this in order to support there opinions. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interviews with ‘experts’ <ul><li>Used to authenticate the views expressed in the documentary. Sometimes, they will disagree with the message of the documentary, although the film maker will usually disprove them in some way. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Use of text/titles <ul><li>Text   </li></ul><ul><li>use of words on screen to anchor images in time and space.   </li></ul><ul><li>Labels, dates etc tend to be believed unquestioningly and are a quick and cheap way of conveying information. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sound <ul><li>Sound  Listen out for the use of non-diagetic sound   </li></ul><ul><li>Microphone sound </li></ul><ul><li>Diagetic sounds </li></ul><ul><li>These sounds are in documentaries for various reasons e.g.-to create realism, emotion, emphasis on topic being discussed. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Set - ups <ul><li>Not just reconstructions of events that happened in the past but also setting up 'typical' scenes.   </li></ul><ul><li>crews make a habit of using set ups they will only be using images of 'reality' that audiences already recognise (confirming stereotypes perhaps) and producing fresh images/ ideas about 'reality' will be impossible.   </li></ul>