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Documentary Styles


Mind Map by ndann98, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by ndann98 over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Documentary Styles
  1. Poetic
    1. A documentary that has a very personal topic (usually to the people involved e.g. presenter or interviewees)
      1. Emphasises certain aspects of a persons life to tell a particular story, generally presented via music, editing and camera shots. The presentation of these aspects is usually very poetic.
        1. Music is the most important factor for poetic documentaries; it helps to develop the mood and tone of the programme to reveal more about the narrative.
        2. Expository
          1. Documentaries in this form are usually non-fiction films where there is direct access to the audience.
            1. Social issues are assembled into an argumentative form with a narration voice over, which is used to emphasise the situation with argumentative logic
            2. Observational
              1. The Fly On The Wall: a documentary where the filmmaker is a neutral observer from the outside looking in
                1. This is used to see how life is lived and how people/animals/objects react in certain situations
                  1. Generally seen in wildlife documentaries such as David Attenborough
                  2. The filmmaker is out of shot so that they do not influence the narrative in any way, and nothing is rehearsed or staged which means camera crews are usually rushed leaving shaky handheld footage
                  3. Participatory
                    1. The events of the documentary are influenced and altered by the presence of the filmmaker.
                      1. Example of this is Supersize Me (2004)
                      2. Reflexive
                        1. In this type of documentary the audience engages with the content of the documentary as it is happening, acknowledging the issues of realism and representation.
                          1. Shows a truth but not necessarily the truth as it shows a reconstruction of the issues/events
                            1. The audience are made aware of the reconstruction through the awareness of the use of editing, sounds and recordings for voice overs.
                            2. Performative
                              1. Acknowledges the emotional and subjective aspects of the documentary
                                1. Often in an autobiographical nature; presents the ideas as part of a context having different ideas for different people
                                2. Documentary modes were developed by American Theorist Bill Nichols; they were developed to distinguish different traits and components of documentaries
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