Codes and Conventions of a
There are different genres of documentaries; codes and
conventions may differ slightly depending on this.
Slow motion / fast motion footage
Close-ups and extreme close-ups
Text and graphics
Codes and Conventions of…
a double page spread from a listings magazine focused on the
Images, usually large and/or multiple and with captions
Date of airing
Main features tab
a newspaper advertisement on the documentary
Large image showing main feature
Majority printed in colour and high resolution
Channel or company logo
Do you watch documentaries on a regular basis?
What genre of documentary do you most enjoy?
Which channel do you usually watch them on?
How much time do you usually spend on the internet
What do you mostly use the internet for?
Which of these websites do you use on a regular
Do you attend any internet community events?
(a) Have you ever made any friends on the internet?
(b) If yes, have you ever met them in person?
History of Documentaries
“a film or television or radio programme that gives facts and
information about a subject”.
The first documentary piece was done in 1877 by Eadweard
Muybridge – a series of sequential images on the way a
In 1895 Auguste and Louis Lumière made a series of short
In the 1920s, Nanook of the North was filmed by Flaherty
After the 1920s, documentary films mainly consisted of
propaganda e.g. Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will on the
From 1950 to 1970, cinéma vérité was developed where
handheld equipment enabled film crews to follow a natural
According to IMDb, the most
popular documentary in the
US box office was in
2004, named Fahrenheit 9/11.
It grossed $119 million
(Wikipedia states it grossed
$222,446,882), while Jackass
grossed $117 million.
We can now watch
documentaries on the go due
to technological advancements
and the internet.
Consideration of Institutional
BBC Three and Channel 4’s target
audience is 16-34 year olds
Both channels air documentaries on
controversial topics, such as Horsemeat
Banquet (BBC Three) and Crazy about One
Direction (Channel 4)
Our documentary would be independent –
BBC Three airs documentaries from
independent studios like Studio Lambert
Both channels have an on-demand
service: BBC iPlayer and 4oD.