Review of documentary
Our class was asked to make a documentary based on the Lewis chessmen; we were
split into groups of ...
We looked at the background of the museum and who discovered it. We learnt many
new things during this experience.
The res...
data which is someone else’s data. We watched many documentaries to get a good
view of what a documentary should comprise....
museum so when people watch the interview they would know where to look if they
wanted to check out the Lewis chessmen pie...
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Review of documentary(urtak)

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Review of documentary(urtak)

  1. 1. Review of documentary Our class was asked to make a documentary based on the Lewis chessmen; we were split into groups of 3-4 peers in each group. We were then given an option of taking different options on what we wanted to talk about with the Lewis chessmen; such as the background or the historical context of it. We had help from the chocolate films and the British museums; who were experts in making documentaries, chocolate films gave us tips with the editing and how to get useful footage. The documentary had to be at least 2-3minutes long. We first we started planning how our documentary would look like and what camera shots and conventions we would use in the documentary. We then watched known documentaries and analyzed them and rote what conventions, editing and what camera shots they used. We started the planning The target audience for the documentary was 16+ because some teenagers like to play chess and some are interested in learning about the background of chess and how it started hundreds of years ago. This documentary was also targeted at tourists because 85% of the people that come to the British museum are tourists. We wanted to make a documentary that would explain in detailed to the people that didn’t know what the Lewis chessmen pieces were, or if they did know what they were then what happened to them, where they were discovered, who made/found them, how they got to the British museum etc. When we met with people from chocolate films at the British museum, we took notes of what they said about making a good documentary; so that we could apply it to our documentary to make our documentary more professional. To make a documentary we needed to collect information about the chessmen pieces, material and how old the chess pieces were. we looking into documentary conventions such as voice overs, archival footage etc. about which is uploaded onto.
  2. 2. We looked at the background of the museum and who discovered it. We learnt many new things during this experience. The research and planning could have improved if I found out more information about the British museum and the Lewis Chessmen Pieces so I could have more knowledge on the archival objects I was doing a documentary on. It would also have helped if I sorted out what each person in my group had to do, or help. This would of made it more organised and easy to find out specific knowledge on the chesspieces. In order to understand how to make a successful documentary we watched previous documentaries that the talking objects collective project produced and we looked at some documentaries on YouTube such as the Tupac Shakur's documentary about his relationship with biggier smalls another rapper and how they lived their lives together in other peoples prespectives such as their close friends, who knew them and family members. I learnt most of the conventions and picked out what Tupac’s documentary had; here are some of the conventions the producers used in tupacs documentary: interviews, titles and text, visual coding, a lot of archival footage, I have learnt that in most documentaries the most common convention producers use in the documentaries is archival footage, archival footage is when you use old footage from, which is also known as stock footage, file footage is film or video footage that can be used in other films. Stock footage is beneficial to filmmakers as it saves shooting new material. It is material obtained from a film library or archive and inserted into a documentary to show historical events or to add detail without the need for additional filming. To make a documentary we had to do some primary research with the British museum and some secondary research by ourselves, primary research consists of a collection of original primary data, and secondary research consists of second hand
  3. 3. data which is someone else’s data. We watched many documentaries to get a good view of what a documentary should comprise. Making a short documentary we had to learn how to get a lot of information in a short amount of time, making it entertaining for the audience, we had included most conventions such as visual coding: links to the idea of mise-en-scene, (e.g. doctors wearing white coat in a hospital will make it more realistic) montage: conveys ideas visually by putting them in a specific order in the film, Talking heads is when the camera catches the facial expression of an object/person. Titles and text is used to quickly explain what you are looking at without spending time guessing who the person is or what they are talking about, which makes it very effective, but that’s another convention we didn’t use and in order to improve our documentary we would need to position titles and texts in the documentary. Before we made our documentary, we made a storyboard showing the different scenes and shots that where going to be used in our documentary also we wrote how long each camera shot should be; the background music and voice over’s, it also contained what the framework of the documentary. This is why we made the drawing on the storyboard as accurate as our drawings could be, and tried to make it as detailed as we could make it. The strength and weaknesses of producing our footages was difficult at times. Recording footage without effecting the cameras still position was tricky, at some points of the interviews, because we didn’t have equipment’s for making the camera stand in the same position without any movement. The strength would be taking immense shots of the chess pieces; the other groups also used the shots in their own documentaries. We took some great close ups shots of the chess pieces carved faces and getting all the facial details of most of the chess pieces, we also took some shots of the museum; inside and outside, we showed where the chess pieces were in the
  4. 4. museum so when people watch the interview they would know where to look if they wanted to check out the Lewis chessmen pieces. We also took shots of the museum outside; we used panning shots for the beginning of the documentary. The most important thing about making this documentary was the way our group worked together as a team, everyone had their part in the documentary, and we all did excellent individually and as a team. To improve the documentary; We could of spent more time editing the documentary as we spent more time taking good shots of the chess pieces. we didn’t edited as much as we would of liked to because of the time limit we had on editing the documentary, but overall the documentary went better than we thought and we were very pleased with the finishing result. My favourite shots that worked great in the documentary were the panning shots we used during some parts of the documentary. My least favourite thing about the documentary was the lighting whilst filming the lighting wasn’t as clear as we wanted. Some parts of the documentary were darker which made the documentary look dull; we had the fix it by editing it on the mac’s we used. After we finished the documentary we went to the museum to watch the documentaries the groups made. We got so much positive feedback from the audience in the museum: teachers, chocolate films people and the other groups. we got feedback from teachers saying “how entertaining satisfying it was” and how we made it look like an actual documentary for us first timers at making documentaries “made it look like a real documentary”. The editing skills we learnt from our teachers and the chocolate films helped a lot; now we can make our own documentaries without any help this time. Overall we managed to instruct people who didn’t know about Lewis chessmen, in a very interesting and entertaining way.

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