Conventions of Observational Documentrys


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Conventions of Observational Documentrys

  1. 1. { A4COV – Megan Godfrey
  2. 2.   For our theme we have been given observational, this style of documentary simply observes either people/place or event and the story is told by mainly imagery and the audience will get a sense of what the documentary is about with still very little narrative. So usually there are no interviews or voiceovers and it's just a case of the camera man following around a person and filming what they do / or have to say. 'Definition: Emphasizing the documentary filmmaker's engagement in observing the subject's daily life and circumstances and documenting them with an unobtrusive camera.'
  3. 3.  Some observational documentaries that have been successful in the past are; Teen Cribs, 16 and pregnant, The Only way is Essex, Peter Andre: The Next Chapter, Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex. All these documentaries are of people showing the camera something, instead of the camera man interviewing someone to say something. Popular Examples of Previous Observational Documentaries
  4. 4.  In the popular MTV documentary 'Teen Cribs' you see many common conventions of observational documentary film making like; Hand held camera action, no interviews and close-ups. Teen Cribs
  5. 5.  Another great example is The Only way is Essex. By maintaining the observational mode, the director allowed the subject to forget the presence of the camera and behave more naturally. The Only Way is Essex
  6. 6.  We want a good balance of a fly-on-the wall approach and giving some sort of information. So tomorrow we do hope to get some speaking from someone from the council but not making it in a interview style more like they are just telling us about the positives about War Memorial Park and how proud they are of its success. How are we going to include Observational Techniques in our own Documentaries?
  7. 7.  We are going to walk around War Memorial Park and take some cinematic shots, to give new mothers a feel for what the park is really like, we want to show it in the most positive way possible to make it look appealing to the mothers as somewhere they could bring up their own children safely. Then with permission film some children at the park and observe on how they use the park in everyday life. Our Documentary
  8. 8.         Bill Nichols an American film critic gave his definition of an observational documentary to be 'a window of the world'. ''Observational(objective) mode is best exemplified by the Cinema Verite or DirectCinema movement which emerged in the late 1950s/early 1960s-it attempted to capture (as accurately as possibly) objective reality with filmmaker as neutral observer'' ''Codes/conventions The filmmakerremains hidden behind the camera, ignored by the surrounding environment he/she neither changes norinfluencesthe actions/events being captured. Since nothing isstaged forthe camera, the camera rushes about to keep up with the action resulting in rough,shaky, often amateur-looking footage.'' Observational Documentary
  9. 9.  We hope to get some good cinematic shots of the War Memorial park tomorrow and follow people round in observational fashion, we will be at the park for a few hours to get a sense of what the park is like in a day. After visiting it today we are a lot more confident it will fit in our documentary and look appealing to new mothers. Observational filming is not really something we can plan, we will see what we find on the day and film it. Who knows what we will see/who we will speak to. That's the beauty of creating an observational documentary we are simply observing through a camera lens. Tomorrow