I’m living a Teenage Dream

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pre Production Current Media Analyse

Pre Production Analyse of Current Documentary

As part of my documentary I want to analysisize the way in which current production teams take the codes andconventions of documentarys and protray them to traget there market.


I chose to analyse a BBC Three Documentary as the channel’s target market is students. The Programs in which they show are all centre around growing up and the issues in which incorporate. During the summer season 2010 BBC3 broadcasted a number of documentaries within the title ‘The Adult Season’ One Documentary in which really inspired me was Glamour models, Mum and me in which explores the pressure and relationship between the media, a 14 year old girl and her glamour model mother.

The opening image is the image of the 14 year old girl. The girl appears fresh faced without any make up and her hair has been left to hang natural. The camera is at a close up level. I believe this was done to make the audience focused upon just how yo
ung and vulnerable the young girl is. I also believe opening the documentary in this way grips the attention of the audience right away; as it is if the girl is right in front of the audience having a conversation with them The White background also adds to the feeling of pure and natural.

This is a huge contrast to what the young girl is taking about though her narrative; she expresses the idea of becoming a Glamour Model, thus causing a greater contrast between the images the audience are receiving thought the extreme close up and the subject of the documentary. As well as the narrative there is non-deigetic music in the background. At the opening of the shot it is soft piano and a female singer. To me this reflects a lullaby which may be sung by a mother adding to the contrast of the youth of the young girl and the subject in which she is talking about.

The shots which follow the first opening scene of the documentary are short close up shots contrasting a normal life of a 14 year old girl and her mother’s glamorous model life. Shots include posing in the living room with her mother in the living room in contrast to natural actions of a young girl for example biting her nails, looking out of the window. Using shots like these allow the audience to see their own children or even themselves within the young girls place, Whereas the shots of her and her mother posing within the family home sound how this career in being forced into every part of her life from a home angle. The shots are taken from the other side of the room to create the feeling that the audience are sat within the room with the mother and daughter creating the feeling of having an inmate realism look into their lives.

While these cut away shot set the conflict within the young girl’s life the narrator begins to explain the situation in which the young girl sits. The Narrator is female, female narrators are normally used for sensitive situation in which I believe this is due the documentary focusing on the conflict of growing up in a beauty obsessed world between mother and child.

Within the chopping editing of the young girls normal/glamour life, the first formal interview is weaved in within the shots. This time the young girl is seen to be wearing make-up and has had her hair style. This is completely different to the image in which the audience first saw in the first scene. The frame is slightly larger as well showing her outfit and jewellery, adding a materialistic value to the young girl than the natural fresh face we saw in the first shot. The girl now seems alot more confident then before. The audience thus see how the media and her mother have transformed the girl into the image in which the stereotypical model should look like. When I saw the transformation of the girl I then questioned if a girl of her age should feel the need to look this way.

Within my piece I would like to use a technique in this way as I felt it really shocked the audience. I could use this technique by showing a young girl in her school uniform compared to the outfits and manor how they dance when at parties. This would then target the target market of parents and shock them into the realisation of the ‘real’ side of their children, as if they were a ‘fly on the wall’.

Thought the opening minutes of the documentary there is little narration, the subjects themselves (the mother and daughter) are allowed to set the scene of the dilemma alone with only the same piano non-diegitic music as before. I believe by doing this the director has alone the documentary to have a more personal level to it, as the audience are involved within the family and situation.

Many general cutaway shots are used though out the first 5 minutes of the documentary such cutaway shots as driving down Sunset Boulevard and driving past LAX airport. This allows the audience to understand that at some point within the documentary that the pair travels to America .Using cut away is a useful technique to show the audience a large port potion of time and distance in snapshot form. As well as general cutaway shot the director has also used story telling cutaways to show key areas/events form throughout the hour long documentary. Many of the shots are taken from a long angle and form the next room to the two subject as the audience it feels that we are once again part of the scene are just on looking their normal life ,once again enforcing the sense of realism and normalize to the film.

Within my documentary I feel to gain a true sense of targeted subjects (teenagers) many cutaways will be used to contrast the media stereotyped teenagers and the real teenage life. Adding such cut aways in a similar way to this documentary will enforce my narration.

The ongoing non-diegetic soundtrack is now at its strongest when the titles of the documentary appear well within the opening section. Adding the titles this late I believe was very effective has it allowed the audience to produce a good view point of both sides of the story and issue, before judging upon the mother.

The titles themselves fade in smoothly which becomes very artist. Then fade out 4 seconds later which is the perfect amount of time for the audience to digest the scene.
The title picture is that of a ‘family photo’ which them makes the audience think of their own family before studying the picture. The photo chosen visual show the clash between the mother and daughter. Having such a strong and clean title photo as this is important for me as I really want to focus my audience into watching the entirety of my documentary as this scene will be in within the first couple of minutes which is peak time for the audience to channel flick though the programs therefore it is vital that my production captures the audience.

After the titles the documentary take a new style. The scene is set by storytelling cut away establishing shots of London, as the audience have already seen shots of America it shows the audience that the pair travels alot which may pressurize the young girl more, which we later confirm.

The narration also decreases and the only sound is digetic sound of the subject conversation between each other. The scenes are now shot with a hand held camera once again making the audience feel they have simple just walked into the house and are in the room watching while the subject carry on with their life. The Mise-en-scene of the shots looks as if the mother and child are just relaxing at home on a day to day life and has not been staged. This creates a great sense of realism. This technique really inspired me I liked the idea of being a fly on the wall in a real life situation. I could adapt this to my documentary by taking this spy like approach to an area in which teenagers hang around. This then appears less filmed for purpose and shows a realistic look/ insight to the life of the subject.

Overall I felt this documentary was very helpful to research and see the way in which the BBC has interrupted the codes and conventions of a documentary and tailored them to meet their target audience. This documentary focused upon getting the audience to put then audience within the subject’s shoes with the use of realism techniques. This is the feel in which I want my documentary to have.

The production opens with this image. The image focuses on two teenagers hugged however they have been blacked out. I believe this is done to show how these two teens could be you , your brother or friend. Which then links the documnetary to the audience on a personal level and will lead them to take more attention to the production.

There is a non diegitic soundtrack in the background it is a classic sounding garge rap track which I believe protrays youth and cities thus linking the music back to the production.

The documentary narration opens with the presenter facing the camera directly and hard hitting narration." Crime ,Booze and general bad behaviour" The opening line uses the magic rule of three, these words then become rememberable and sterotypical of what everyone aspects of teengers.
Within the background of the shot is the river view of London , I believe this is done to show the majoity of the source of media comes from London via newspapers and tevelison broacast however te teens in which she later interviews rebel against this. The soundtrack is completely gone and only the narration of the presenter is present. It creates the feeling of realism as we and simply just watching a class rather than being scripted.

The camera is very randomy zooming and loose almost handheld. I believe his gives the production a feeling of low budget filming as if it as een producted be the teens themseleves.

The next 4 mintues continue with this loose low budgeting feeling. The presenter sits around a outside table with 10 teenagers. The camera then shot from an interesting shot. The camera is postion behing one of the teens heads. This creates the feeling the audience are huddles among the teens. This then makes the audience feel they are one of the teens and maybe should share their views too. Another interesting shot the director has used is the use of uptitled angles like the snapshop from the picture to the right. I think this shows the teens as powerful view points in comprassion to the outlook the media gives them. I could consider using this technquie within my production.

Inbetween the 4minute interview are 3 cutaway shots which I feel really add to the production. They are of teens : hooded , fighting and hanging around which many teens and adults will have seen at some point.
The images have been blurred out so just the outline can be seen. I think this gives the images a feeling of mysetry ,however they also remind me of when "victoms" faces are blurred out therefore is the production tyring to protray these teens as the victoms to the media?.

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