I’m living a Teenage Dream

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Types Of Documentaries

As I finalise my planning and research of my documentary and head towards the filming and production I want to explore the four different types of documentaries in which my documentary will have to fit within one area. There are four main types :

  • Expository

Expository documentaries use narrative to address the audience in a 'voice of god' format. Therefore the audience I lead to believe the narrative as the correct view point or the truth. The director of the documentary then has the power to mulipcate the audience to the chosen view. This is the oldest form of documentary. The narrative if normally shared between a number of people such as : experts , witness and participants.

Such examples of this form of documentary are: Crimewatch,Inconvenient Truth and Madness in the fast Lane

  • Observational

Allows visual material to tell its own story without narrative, this creates the feeling the subject of the documentary is allowed to happen freely and the audience are free to come to their own conclusion. The presents of cameras is made present within the shots, creating the feeling that the subject being film has been caught unexpectedly without scripting. An observation documentary will use the basic framework of an exposiary documentary however as I have mentioned allow the material to tell its own story. The audience are then given access unmediated material.

"(observation documentaries)..arose from the availability of more more mobile, recording equipment and dissatisfaction with the moralising quality of exposition documentary"

  • Interactive

The interactive documentary has be catalysed by the dawn of the online age. The Interactive documentary allows individuals to record their views or life experiences without the invention of a interviewer or camera crew. This method of documentary if often referenced to as a video diary. The increasing use of such sites as YouTube and various blog websites have made this method rapidly grow.

"Interactive documentaries wanted to engage with the individuals more directly while not reverting to classic exposition"

"Archival footage of the past events become appended to there commentaries to avoid hazard of the re-enactment and the monolithic claims of voice of god commentary"

  • Reflective

Reflective documenatries are a very sophificated type of documentary. A Reflective documentary postions the audience as the main focus of attention. It refuses to include just on viewpoint, this is achieved by explict knowlegde of the camera viewpoints or ideals.

"...arose from a desire to make the conventions of representation themsleves more apparent to the challenge the impression of reality with the other three modes normally conveyed unproblematically"

All quotes from Documentary modes of representation in : Reprensting Realiltiy by Bill Nichols 1991

I believe my documentary is a Expository Docementary as i desire to show the audience the truth about teenage culture on both sides of the situatuion. I will include both viewpoints howver have a 'voice of god' present thoughout the length of the documentary.

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