In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
In What Ways Does Your Media Product
Use, Develop Or Challenge Forms And
Conventions Of Real Media Products?
Conventions of a Documentary
• A mixed documentary must contain many
different conventions of all types of
• The next few slides will outline the
conventions of documentaries.
• A documentary is to be truthful and non bias.
• It shall document reality.
• It shall report on something which has
happened, Using evidence.
• A reconstruction can be used as a substitute if
there is no primary footage.
• Documentaries are made from subjects
varying from political, historical, to religious
• Target audience used to schedule a documentary, and what
can be shown within the content.
• Furthermore what type of adverts will be used at the time.
• Josh Grierson first created the term documentary and
described it as the creativity of actuality
• In more creative documentaries the authenticity of the
content can be questioned.
• it’s impossible to capture real events as they are happening
as they are unexpected, so therefore reconstructions
• Film crew affects through the people watching them, the
situation is no longer real.
• A documentary can use a narrator.
• A narrator is a convention as it anchors the
meaning of a documentary.
• The usual style is role of god as the narrator
isn't involved and is all seeing and all knowing.
• A narrator can become involved in a
• This becomes a participation documentary.
Types of documentary
• A documentary may become fictisous around
• A documentary may become dramatized for
• Fly on the wall is an example of a non narrated
5 conventions of documentary
• 1 – observation contain invisible camera,
audience is an eye whiteness.
• 2 – interview set to the rule of thirds, a
spontaneous interview is called a vox pop
• 3 – dramatization, for effect or when no
footage is available
• 4 – mise – en – scene
• 5 – exposition, description and commentary
Conventions of a mixed documentary
• The conventions we chose to use in our mixed
• Fully narrated (off screen) (voice of god)
• Self reflexive, subjects acknowledge camera
• Documentary including a reconstruction
• Documentary with defined beginning middle
and end. (circular narrative)
Title Cards • The title card is one of the key conventions of a
documentary it can be seen in all documentaries.
And therefore it was paramount that we included
them in our post-production process.
• Some documentary title cards are highly edited
and animated however in our documentary this
style of title card would not conform to the
conventions of a documentary about cakes
therefore we had to design our title cards to
conform to conventions our target audience
would be used to.
• Therefore when creating the title card we used a
simple text with no background, the simplicity of
the title card conforms to the conventions to the
of the genre of which our documentary is based.
• The title card only appears on screen for around 3
seconds therefore the card must be clearly
viewable and easily.
• Our title card also conforms to the conventions of
a title card as it displays the name and profession.
It also conforms to the rule of thirds which is a
convention of a documentary.
Rule of Thirds• The rule of thirds is a convention in which all
filming must conform to. 2 thirds of the screen
should be filled with the main image (foreground)
of the frame, and 1 third should be the
• Also the points of interest in the frame must be
on one of the four intersecting points of the grid.
• In our documentary the interviews are very good
examples of the rule of thirds. In the top
screenshot the interviewee’s face is under the
intersecting point and she takes up 2 thirds of the
frame. Plus in the other third there is the piece of
mice on scene.
• And in the second screenshot the woman's face
lays under the intersecting line and she also takes
up two thirds of the frame.
• The Rule of Thirds is important as it dictates the
way the audience views and reeds the picture, as
if the main image was centre of frame it would
give the audience an unsettling feeling. And it
would not be enjoyable to watch.
• Another Factor which is taken in to consideration
whilst using the rule of thirds is mice on scene.
Mice en Scene • Another convention of a documentary is the use
of Mice en Scene. Mice en Scene is the use of
filling the background with genre related images
for example in the first screenshot the post-
production superimposed images of the
‘Simpson’ family in the background of the
interview shows the viewer what the interview is
about. Plus it gives the documentary a
professional and rounded finish as it looks as
somebody has thought of every little detail.
• In our documentary the head and shoulder
interviews give the best use of mice en scene for
example in the second screenshot the woman is
seen next to a cake this directly conforms to the
genre of our documentary and ads depth to the
scene. Also in the third screenshot the woman
can be seen in a bakery, and it can automatically
be identified as a bakery. Which allows the
audience to quickly realise that the interviewee is
• This is important in the world of documentary as
the audience do not have to over think frames
and scenes which would make the documentary
boring and unenjoyable to watch.
Narration• Narration is one of the key conventions of a mixed style
documentary it gives the images seen on screen meaning and it
bridges the gap between interviews, giving the audience the
information it wants from the documentary.
• We chose the ‘voice of god’ style of narration opposed to the on
screen presenting style of narration. We chose this style of
narration as it is much simpler and much more easily recognised by
• It was key that the voice over in the documentary and the voice
over in the radio advert were the same as this allows the audience
to feel safe in the knowledge that the programme they chose to
watch was the one they wanted to watch after hearing the advert
on the radio.
• The narrator had to be taken in to consideration also as we had to
make a decision on what sought of person we wanted to be in our
documentary as the narration is one of the most important parts of
a documentary. Therefore we chose to go with the stereotype
rather than challenge it. We chose a woman who was mature in
age and had a sophisticated voice. Instead of having a young man
with a distinctive undereducated voice. Therefore it can be said
that we chose the woman to narrate our documentary to conform
with the conventions of the genre we have chosen to document
rather than to challenge the stereotype generated by society.
• Another thing that we had to take in to consideration were the
conventions of channel 4. as the majority of there documentaries
were ‘ voice of god’ narration our documentary had to be also to
conform with this.
Supporting Texts • Supporting (auxiliary) texts are a
convention of a documentary. The
supporting texts are used to advertise
the broadcast of the main text.
• For example in the radio advert the
narrator is the same as the narrator in
the documentary for the reasons I
explained in the previous slide. Also in
the radio advert the small (vox pop)
interviews are included. This also gives
the audience an insight in to the
• The print advert is the visual
representation of the whole
documentary in one concise frame. This
is supposed to entice the audience to
look further in to the production or to
tempt them enough to watch the