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Codes and conventions of the documentary drama

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Codes and conventions of the documentary drama

  1. 1. Codes and Conventions of the documentary drama.
  2. 2. • Narrative Structure: - Open or closed or circular depending on subject matter - Linear or non linear - Nearly all documentaries are single strand
  3. 3. • Camerawork: - Interviews framed to left or right, CU or MCU, following rule of thirds. - Handheld cameras used for actuality footage to react to action - A variety of shot types are used to entertain and sustain the audience’s interest - Pan and zooms used on still images
  4. 4. • Mise En Scene: - Background of interviews – reflects subject or person - Chromakey - Location - Back drop - Mise en Scene is used to anchor person to subject or relevance - Lighting can be used creatively on interviews
  5. 5. • Sound: - Voiceover – narrator: Standard English, ‘glue that holds narrative together’. Age and Gender usually reflects target audience. - Sets scene - Introduce topic - Links items - Concludes narrative - Music is used as a bed. (usually relevant to topic or to heighten emotion) - All questions edited out - Background sound or noise kept to minimum - SFX can be used in re-constructions
  6. 6. • Editing: - Cut (most common edit) - To not distract from subject matter - Dissolve can be used, but effects are kept to a minimum, e.g fast motion, slow motion - Effects can be used as elliptical editing, such as fade to black - Montage - Can be used to give audience flavour for show - Can be used to show multiple examples of archive material
  7. 7. • Archive Material: - Examples: film/video, TV, newspapers, magazines, photo s, websites - Always relevant to subject matter or what is being said.
  8. 8. • Graphics: - Titles are unique to programme (logos) - Name of interviewee and relevance - Anchors who they are?? - Usually opposite side to interviewee - Top line bigger than bottom - Simple typography - Credits scroll and include tribute to archive material - Can anchor period of time - Subtitles where necessary

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