B Y J O R D A N S I M P S O N
Codes and Conventions of
Documentaries
The 5 Elements
 John Corner said there are 5 main elements to any
documentary.
1. Observation
2. Interview
3. Dramatizati...
Observation Interview
 Observation is one of the most
common features in any
documentary. However
probably one of the mos...
Dramatization Mise En Scène
 Dramatization is used to build
arguments within the
documentary. This is normally
gone throu...
What are the five elements?
 Exposition of the again key to all documentaries as this reveals the topic of the
documentar...
D o c u m e n t a r i e s f o l l o w a t i g h t n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e . T h i s s t r u c t u r e
m e a n ...
Three-step
Narrative
1-2-3
 One (Beginning)
 At the start of the documentary they introduce
the topic and also the quest...
Conflict Music and Sound Effects
 Throughout the documentary
conflict is introduced to generate
questions how are we the ...
Selection and Construction Rule of thirds
 This is a key element of any
documentary. This is where the
documentary makers...
What are the five elements?
 Subtitles are used to tell the audience the interviewees name and profession. As
a result of...
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Codes and conventions of a documentary

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Codes and conventions of a documentary

  1. 1. B Y J O R D A N S I M P S O N Codes and Conventions of Documentaries
  2. 2. The 5 Elements  John Corner said there are 5 main elements to any documentary. 1. Observation 2. Interview 3. Dramatization 4. Mise En Scène 5. Exposition
  3. 3. Observation Interview  Observation is one of the most common features in any documentary. However probably one of the most unnoticed. The way this is done is by using the camera at a point of view shot, which allows the audience to view the situation for themselves. As a result of this they pose their own questions to the documentary while they are watching.  Interviews are the backbone of any documentary. They pose questions to the audience also introduce conflicting ideas to further the narrative of the documentary and also develop the audiences opinions as the documentary moves forward. Interviews are often used in a creative way by adding relevant images and video over the audio the interview. What are the five elements?
  4. 4. Dramatization Mise En Scène  Dramatization is used to build arguments within the documentary. This is normally gone through the observational element of the documentary by dramatizing this element to evoke a question or an answer from the audience.  Mise en scène is often considered to be the most important element of any documentary. This is because it is taken into account throughout every stage of production. It is considered when planning props, costume, make up lighting and set and many other elements of any one part of the documentary. What are the five elements?
  5. 5. What are the five elements?  Exposition of the again key to all documentaries as this reveals the topic of the documentary on what the aims of the documentary are. Normally when the exposition is introduced the audience and normally settle on one side of the argument and have very clear views on their opinion. By adding in the exposition we are allowing the audience to pose questions that they may have not considered before. Exposition
  6. 6. D o c u m e n t a r i e s f o l l o w a t i g h t n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e . T h i s s t r u c t u r e m e a n s t h e y h a v e a d e f i n i t i v e s t a r t , m i d d l e a n d e n d . T h e y a l s o f o c u s o n i n t r o d u c i n g c o n f l i c t s o t h e a u d i e n c e p o s e s q u e s t i o n s , w h i c h a s a r e s u l t k e e p t h e m i n t e r e s t e d . S o u n d e f f e c t s a n d m u s i c a r e a l s o u s e d t o d e v e l o p a n a u d i e n c e i n t e r e s t i n t h e d o c u m e n t a r y . Narrative Conventions
  7. 7. Three-step Narrative 1-2-3  One (Beginning)  At the start of the documentary they introduce the topic and also the questions that will be answered throughout.  Two (Middle)  In the middle of the documentary exposition is introduced which generates conflicts and allows the questions that have been close to school in more detail. At this stage we also see both sides to the argument, which introduces different peoples opinions and conflicting evidence.  Three (End)  At the end of the documentary all the conflict which has been introduced has been resolved and all the questions, that the audience had, should have hopefully been answered.
  8. 8. Conflict Music and Sound Effects  Throughout the documentary conflict is introduced to generate questions how are we the audience to explore different areas and opinions throughout the documentary. This is done in many different ways a lot of the time through interviews and dramatization of the other elements.  Music and sound effects are used to support footage which is on- screen, generate an emotional response or to conflict with the footage on screen. Sound also help to keep the audience interested while they are watching. Sounds used rather documentary normally relate to the topic or theme. Documentary Conventions
  9. 9. Selection and Construction Rule of thirds  This is a key element of any documentary. This is where the documentary makers will decide the; theme, who, what, when, why and how elements of the documentary. This is also known as the planning stages where they consider time and cost of the production. In the construction stages commonly known as post- production they will carefully select the right footage to create the documentary.  The rule of thirds is used within its use in any documentary. This layout is an internationally recognized element of any interview. Documentary Conventions
  10. 10. What are the five elements?  Subtitles are used to tell the audience the interviewees name and profession. As a result of this the audience knows that person is relevant to the documentary. Banners/Subtitles

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