documentary conventions

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  • 1.Documentary FormatsExpository Documentary- A nonfiction film that emphasizes verbal commentary and argumentative logic.- For example: An Inconvenient Truth is an example of an expository documentary because itrelies on verbal commentary and confrontational logic to make its strong case for preventionof global warming.- An expository documentary has impact on the audience swaying their knowledge are side ofthe story. This is done on purpose by the makers of the documentary.Observational Documentary- Emphasizing the documentary filmmakers engagement in observing the subjects daily lifeand circumstances and documenting them with an unobtrusive camera.- By maintaining the observational mode, the director allowed the subject to forget thepresence of the camera and behave more naturally, thereby letting the audience get a bettersense of how she really feels about having such an unusual abundance of facial hair.- Observational documentary has also a big impact on the audience, the documentary makes astory along the way making the audience like certain characters and creating a bond withthem. This is a great impact and it creates many thoughts towards the rest of thedocumentary.- Example of a Observational Documentary:

2. Documentary Formats #2Reflexive Documentary- The reflexive mode reflects the quality of documentary itself, de-mystifying its processes andconsidering its implications. Mitchell Blocks No Lies (1974,) functioned in a notably differentmanner, as it reflexively and questioned the observational mode, commenting onobservational techniques and their volume for capturing authentic truths.- In this way, the reflexive mode of documentary often functions as its own regulatoryboard, policing ethical and technical boundaries within documentary film itself.- Reflexive Documentary has a slight impact on their viewers because its more of anobservation and they are capturing true facts allowing the audience to learn from thedocumentary.Participatory Documentary- Unlike the observational mode, the participatory mode welcomes direct engagementbetween filmmaker and subject(s) - the filmmaker becomes part of the events beingrecorded- The filmmakers impact on the events being recorded is acknowledged, indeed, it is oftencelebrated.- Participatory Documentary is very big on the viewers because its getting them involved withthe documentary as well as getting the filmmaker involved as well. 3. Documentary Formats #3Performative Documentary- This mode of documentary highlights the subjective nature of the documentarianas well as acknowledging the subjective reading of the audience. Notions ofobjectivity are replaced by "evocation and affect. This mode also emphasizes theemotional and social impact on the audience.- A performative documentary is extremely effective on the audience. They aremade purposely to emphasize the emotional and social sides of the audience.Bringing out there views therefor making the documentary a lot more interesting. 4. Documentary RealismIn the 1930s documentaries provided information, education and propaganda to the audience.In the 1960s the TV became the principal medium for documentaries. The genre was (and to an extent, stillis), typified by certain well-defined codes:- An authoritative presenter.- The use of voice-over commentaries.- Recorded interviews.- Visual evidence via location shots or archive film.From the 1980s came the fly-on-the-wall type of documentary, which has well-defined rules:- Events are filmed exactly as they happen- Subjects agree in advance to be filmed- Participants are shown edited versions of the filmingSurface Realism- also known as getting the details right or making it look real. You can look at texts in terms of locations, orsetting, or costumes and props, or even the right accent spoken by a character. It looks right, it sounds rightso it must be right.Inner & Emotional Realism- The audience knows the character and identifies with him or her because the character behaves in a realisticway or says the right thing, or shows an identifiable response or emotion. 5. Dramatisation & NarrativisationDramatisationDramatisation is often seen in documentaries that are prejudice and bias.Dramatisation is the exaggeration that gets built up within a documentary.Dramatisation can sometimes be very bad in the way that its really strong towards acertain view but also the general narration and the documentary is self has becomeover exaggerated.NarrativisationNarrativisation is normally always seen or heard in a documentary. Narrative is aneffective way of addressing to the audience and telling the story or in this case thedocumentary. Narrativisation can also drag on a bit so you have to be careful onhow much your using depending on what type to documentary is. 6. StudioNewsreaders- A news presenter (also known asnewsreader, newscaster, anchorman oranchorwoman, news anchor or simply anchor) is aperson who presents news during a news program inthe format of a television show, on the radio or theInternet.- News presenters can work in a radio studio, televisionstudio and from remote broadcasts in the fieldespecially weather forecasters.- For example: Kate Silverton 7. Field Reporters- A field reporter is a member of the broadcasting teamfor a sporting event who assists with additionalcoverage away from the broadcasting booth or pressrow. Often the sideline reporter makes specialupdates on injuries and conducts interviews, since theplay-by-play broadcaster and colour commentatormust remain in their main broadcast position.- For example: Kevin Sites - 8. Links to Studio- Link to studio is when one live studio then cuts to another live studio possibly across the world.- For example - 9. Mode of Address to Viewer- Mode of address to viewer is the way the reporter andthe show present to the audience. For example BBC 1are all serious with the audience where as channelfive news are more relaxed in conversation andactually express what they are saying.- The mode of address has a big impact on the audiencebecause they are going to have different reactions tothe way the new reporter interacts with them andaddresses to them. 10. Interviewing- An interview is a conversation between two people (theinterviewer and the interviewee) where questions areasked by the interviewer to obtain information from theinterviewee.- When BBC news interview the interviewee they are moreformal talking at a desk or maybe linking to another studio.Where as channel five are more relaxed and interviewingthe interviewee on the sofa in the studio with interviewersor news readers .- Interviewing also has a great impact on the viewersbecause it feeds them more information thereforefinalizing their thoughts on the story as well as usingexperts and witnesses. 11. Experts and Witnesses- Experts and Witnesses are the same in all new shows.They are used to get the point across feeding facts tothe audience to slightly analyse the story.- News shows would also use eye witnesses and keywitnesses to get points across and to generate more ofa story. 12. Report Structure- The news reporter would read out all the headlines giving it an executive summary with an overview of the subject matter. The theyd go back to the story and start with an introduction outlining the reports structure explaining the story more in depth. Theyd then reach to the body of the story feeding the viewers with data and information about the story and possibly interviewing a witness or another reporter who is on location. The reporter will then conclude the story sometimes with an opinion and they also conclude the discussion and the future possibilities. 13. Actual Footage- Actual footage is used a lot within new shows helping the reporter to get the story across as well as proving the story to the viewers, after the footage they would go to an on location report or a witness.