Independent: Documentary

Documentary Task 4: Evaluation

 

The first aspect of my evaluation will be a comparison of my final finished product against the agreed proposal. All members of the crew were present for the shoot and carried out their roles well. We devised roles as a group on the day and collaborated well, keeping communication throughout. However, we became less organised towards the end of the day, probably because we grew tired of continually filming, but had we captured and collated all the footage to one place instead of waiting till the following day, we may not have lost Sam’s footage and we would have had Frankie’s audio. In the future I will strive to keep concentration throughout and will keep the moral of the group up so we can keep on the ball and prevent any mistakes. The final product needed to show :

‘the process of the Level 3 NVQ make-up artists applying make-up to actors to turn them into zombies for filming. We want to show the techniques used by the make-up artist and the process they have to undergo to transform the actors. Ultimately this documentary will be used as evidence for their work, which will be seen by their tutors. It could also be used for future students to see examples of previous work and to get a feel of some aspects of the course.’

The final documentary does evidence the process including point-of-views from a couple of artists. However, I think we could have shot a better variety of footage to give the artists more evidence for their work. In the final documentary there was only the application of make-up on a few actors, it would have been better to have seen everyone’s process. In addition to this, my documentary only shows the initial stages of the application of the make-up, and the end result at the film shoot. A better way of showing this would have been to capture all stages of the application of make-up so the audience could follow the process better, this could have been shown in the form of a time-lapse. I think this problem arose because there were 4 cameras filming, but at least 10 make-up artists working. We rushed to film everyone and in doing so we got snippets of everyone, instead of a whole make-up application from one of the make-up artist on one of the actors. If we ever undergo a project like this in the future, I will try to better organise the group and assign them more specific roles like certain sections/people. This will avoid confusion  and keep organisation. Having said this I think our final documentary was acceptable to give to the Level 3 NVQ make-up artists as evidence.

The final documentary included the majority of the shots I pre-determined for the sequence. We included interviews from the make-up artists, the tutor and an actor. We originally had interviews from at least 6 members of the make-up group, however the audio got lost and the sound was only recoverable from a couple of interviews. Better organisation skills would have avoided this, however at least there were some point of views included in the final product. I also think we could have asked more specific questions to the actors, as they were theoretically the clients of the artists, this would have given the artists feedback on how to deal with clients which could have been beneficial to them for any future projects involving models. In the future I will better plan questions for any interview. The only shot I didn’t include was an external shot of the location, however I did include an internal shot of the environment leading up to the room that they were based in. I felt the audience didn’t need to see the outer location as it is shown visually and verbally that it is taking place at a college. Although I included all the shots I wanted, there could have been a larger amount of shots to make the documentary longer and include more evidence for the make-up students. This may have been possible had we not lost footage and audio, which again reflects on organisation skills which need to be improved.

I wanted to show the troubles the students faced whilst transforming the actors, for example time constraints or working in a crowded room.  This would have been shown in some of the interviews we filmed, however it was not included because we had no audio to accompany it. It was shown in the fact you could see they were in a crowded room, but it could have been better evidenced.

I think the structure of the final documentary was good, we interchanged between interviews, close-ups and medium shots which created variety and made it more interesting to watch. It flowed well with a combination of static and hand-held shots. As I have stated before more footage would have prolonged the documentary and showed more information the students could have used for evidence. If I participate in a project like this in the future, I will plan the schedule better and include more detail.

We created a proffessional  looking documentary with no budget which was a good accomplishment. Luckily, we had the facilities of the college such as tripods, spare batteries and computers to import the footage which worked to our advantage. For future filming I will look to the college to book their equipment as it is free.

 

In the edit I used a song from incomputech, a website with loyalty free music. I referenced it as a graphic at the end of the documentary so there were no copyright issues.

 

Technical  

 

The finished product was technically good, we prepared the equipment well before the shoot aside from my slight issue with forgetting the SD card which we quickly recovered from. The footage was easily inter-changeable because we’d set the white balance, shutter speed and aperture to the same value on all the cameras. My technical criticism is that we should have grouped together at the end of our filming, and collated all the stuff we had recorded so we had it ready for editing the next day. This would have given more choice in the edit and I could have portrayed more information. Because we did not do this, footage and audio was lost, although I managed to salvage some of the audio from the interviews using the sound from the camera. I also feel that if I were given more time I could have created a better finished edit, but I was only given a working week to get an edit for the make-up students.

Aesthetic

I think the aesthetics of the final documentary were good, I interchanged between interviews, close-ups and medium shots which created variety and made it more interesting to watch. It flowed well with a combination of static and hand-held shots. As I have stated before more footage would have prolonged the documentary and showed more information the students could have used for evidence. One example I stated earlier would have been to include more stages of the make-up artists applying the make-up, and showed it as a time-lapse. This would have showed the passing of time along with all the stages the subjects had to undergo to be transformed. If I participate in a project like this in the future, I will plan the schedule better and include more detail. I received good feedback  from my tutor and the Level 3 make-up students, saying it was a good edit and was interested. Both their criticisms were that they would have liked to have seen more of the application of the make-up. This may have been possible if we’d had more footage, but in future projects I will monitor my peers closer to make sure no mistakes like this are made.I also feel that if I were given more time I could have created a better finished edit, but I was only given a working week to get an edit for the make-up students.

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Documentary Task 3 : Produce The Documentary

Finished Production:

 

 

At the beginning of the shoot we set up the cameras so they were all calibrated the same. WE all set our white balance using the same paper, set our aperture, f.stops and shutter speed to be the same as one another. This was so in the editing stage we could pick footage from any camera or perspective and the conditions such as lighting and the speed of motion would remain the same and wouldn’t look odd to a viewer.

 

Production Techniques

We used a combination of close-ups and medium shots and two-shots. This gave the viewer more of a personal  perspective. We used interviews, starting off with the tutor, to explain to the audience what would be going on throughout the documentary. I edited the artists response to our questions over the footage of the actors being made-up and close-ups of the make-up and equipment. This was to make it more interesting to the viewer as they could visually see the process and experience the artists were explaining during the interviews. We also used an interview with an actor to see the process from another point of view.

 

Production Management

 

We arrived on location with all the equipment and set everything up successfully, except for one draw-back. I assumed my SD card was in my camera but it was not. Luckily, Andrew had a spare SD card but it was only 8gb, as was his SD card. This meant we couldn’t capture an awful lot of footage until the card would become full. However, because we were located in the college it was easy to upload the footage and wipe the cards as we went along. Also, we had 5 cameras between us so we could capture plenty of footage anyway. We struggled to get into positions that wouldn’t obstruct the artists from carrying out their tasks but managed to position ourselves out the way, and moved fluidly through the room without disruption to others. Sam, Craig and Andrew mainly focused on the action and cut-aways whilst Frankie, Gareth and I focused on interviews. I flitted between helping with the interviews and filming. We filmed right through till about 1pm. We kept communications throughout to keep up to date with each other and too ensure we were getting a variety of footage. A couple of camera’s batteries died, but we had back-ups on charge in a different room, so this only caused slight delays.At 1pm during the lunch period, we reviewed the footage to see if we needed more. By this time, most of the actors had been transformed into zombies bar a few, so a lot of the group would progress upstairs to help with the set up of the scene for the film shoot, and to get shots of the artists keeping the actor’s make-up touched up. Craig continued on getting inserts and cut-aways.  Gareth, Frankie and I would get a couple more interviews. We finished filming by around 3pm, on schedule.

 

When we came in the following day I needed to collate the footage and audio for my edit. However when it came to getting Sam’s, he had lost it. He said that he had uploaded  it the previous day but when he came to recover it again it had gone. this set me back as I had one less camera to pick footage from, and Sam had captured a lot of the action on his camera. This was unfortunate but at least i had footage from the other 4 cameras to work with. Another issue I encountered was that Frankie had used the fostrix audio recorder to record the artists during the interviews, but he had not captured the audio off the device the previous day.When he went to retrieve the device the audio had been wiped. A lot of the interview recordings could not be included because of this, and I only had the sound from the camera to work with.

Documentary task 2: Pre-production

 

 

Documentary Project Proposal
Working Title: SFX Make-Up Documentary

Producer: VTCT Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Make-Up Artistry

Director:

Cameraperson/s : Andrew Miles, Craig Ellis, Frankie Burrows, Gareth Skinner, Sam, Vicky Grant

Sound recordist: Frankie Burrows

Editor: Vicky Grant

Other collaborators: Rob Prior

Working Hypothesis 

 

We want to show the process of the Level 3 NVQ make-up artists applying make-up to actors to turn them into zombies for filming. We want to show the techniques used by the make-up artist and the process they have to undergo to transform the actors. Ultimately this documentary will be used as evidence for their work, which will be seen by their tutors. It could also be used for future students to see examples of previous work and to get a feel of some aspects of the course.

 

Topic

The documentary will mainly focus on the students on the Level 3 NVQ make-up course at Brooksby Melton College and their application of special effects make-up.

We will also focus on the actors as they are the subjects that will be transformed by the special effects make-up. We will also include some information from the group’s tutor to give an overview of the task assigned to the students, this will give the viewer a fuller understanding of the activity. This will make an observational style documentary.

Shots/ Sequences

 

  1. Interviews with students
  2. Interview with tutor
  3. Interviews with actors
  4. External Location shots/ internal location shots
  5. Close-ups of Equipment
  6. Close-ups of application of make-up on the actors
  7. Work areas/ stations.
  8. Medium shots of the artists touching up the make-up during the actors filming.
  9. Long shots of the actors on the shoot.

 

Main Characters

We will focus on the make-up artists who are applying the make-up to the actors for their assessment, this observational documentary will evidence this. In addition we will show the subject (the actors) as the process progresses.

Conflict

We will show how the artists apply special effects make-up to the actors to make them look like zombies in preparation to filming. It will show the techniques used in the application of the make-up, how the make-up artists work under time constraints and how they cope in a real working environment. We will interview the students for a fuller explanation of the process and to get their point of view on their assignment.

On Camera Interviews

For each interview, list:

  1. We will interview the make-up artists to establish the process they are taking, what techniques they use, how they feel the process is going and how they feel about the finished product/subject.
  2. We will interview the class tutor to get an overview of the activities that are taking place with the students and what the aim of the task is.
  3. We will possibly interview the actors to see how they feel the artists have dealt with them, and what they think about the end result.

Structure

This will be an observational documentary to show the application and creation of special effects horror make-up from the level 3 NVQ make-up artists. We will start by establishing the external location with a wide shot and some wider shots of the internal locations and setting, showing the actors waiting for the process to start and the artists finishing setting-up their stations in preparation. We show the beginning of the application in medium shots and integrate it with close-ups of the equipment and the make-up itself. We will then go in closer on the artists applying the make-up and intersperse it with interviews from both the artists and actors. We will use wider shots of the artists applying the make-up as a group, showing how they have to work around each other, as well an interview with the group leader to reveal more information about the task given to the students. We will then progress to show the actors with the finished make-up applied, and interview a couple about what they thought to the make-up and how the artists handled them. We will show how the artists keep the make-up touched up on the actors during their film shoot. We will end with footage of the actors on set whilst being filmed to show the end result.

 

Budget

We have little to no budget. The crew consists of 5 cinematographers and 1 person on sound, we have all volunteered to help the special effects make-up artist students. To save money and time we will act as all crew members on set. There are no travel costs as the shoot is located at our college. The shoot is only a day long so we will not need travel expenses, etc.

 

Logistics

 

We are filming in the makeup department of Brooksby Melton College. The morning is dedicated to filming the set-up of and application of the make-up, so we will need to be at college before 9.30am to set-up for 9.30am when the make-up artists and actors will arrive. We have to capture all aspects of the set-up, the equipment and the application but only have the morning to do so as the actors have to be ready for the film shoot in the afternoon. This means we will take staggered breaks of approximately 15 minutes so we can continually film to get as much footage for the edit. We can easily complete the filming as the shoot will only last a day because the task the artists have been given is only a day long. We will have finished the set-up shoot by midday and will only take a couple of hours in the afternoon to get footage of the artists and actors on shoot. Gareth and I have estimated that it will take us a week to produce individual edits but our deadline can be extended for in 2 weeks time, which is feasible. Our schedule will run from 9.00am to Approximately 3pm.

 

Legal/ Ethical Constraints 

Legal Issues.

There are defimation laws in place to stop untrue and maybe even offensive things being said about people. For example a libel defination would be when an unjustifies attack, in the form or writing, publication or broadcast is carried out in some way. This mainly applies to journalists but also media producers. Another form of defimation is slander, which is when a verbal attack is carried out. When these defimations are carried out, they can only be justified if what is said, written or published can be proved as fact, or if it can be deemed as a fair comment that is done in good faith, or if something is in the greater public interest, and it protected by parlimentary reporting.

Another legal issue is copyright, which is part of an intullectual property law. The original makers of books, plays, songs, photographs, etc have autamatic ownership over their own work. Although it is wise to seek legal protection to ensure extra protection. You cannot copyright an idea, only the application of that idea. These pieces of work cannot be used or copied without the permission of the originator, which is usually in the form of payment or royalties for example the distribution of CD’s.

The style of this documentary is factual so we will only be showing  the  actions of those involved which shouldn’t show any untrue information.

Ethical Issues.

Discrimination is also a legal contraint but also an ethical one. It is illegal to dicriminate and offend anyone on the basis of their gender, disability, age or ethinic prigin when employing in the work place. How the media would present such groups and issues are by representing them as architypes or stereotypes.

Ethical issues are not inforced by law, but certain practices and protocal are in place with some media companies to prevent issues such as offensive material (watershed), privacy, explotation, etc, which are all issues of morality (what is right or wrong).

Our documentary just shows the actions of those involved which isn’t of a religious, ethnelogical or cultural nature.

 

Our documentary will only be used for educational purposes and will not be released to the public for personal profit, therefore we are not infringing copyright.

 

Call Sheet

Docu_CallSheet

Personal releases

Because our video is for educational purposes only, we are not oblidged to acquire personal release forms as it will not be distributed or shown to the general public. However, just to be on the safe side and to get acceptance incase it is shown to other students in the future and not just educational authorities, I gathered personal release forms from all the participants, here are a couple of release forms I acquired :

10500388_782494628457242_3040687822536865766_n 10491166_782494668457238_541801652781495295_n

 

 

Recce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1: Development of Documentary

Task 1: Development of Documentary

 

As part of my documentary unit I will look at the history and development of documentary as a genre.

 

1877: Eadweard Muybridge develops horses in motion‘, which was a series of consecutive photos. Muybridge then invents the zoöpraxiscope in 1879, a contraption for projecting and “animating” photographic images.

1883: Etienne Jules Marey experiments with chronophotography, the photography of people in movement.

1895: Auguste and Louis Lumière stage the world’s first public film screening on December 28, 1895 in the basement lounge of the Grand Cafe on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris.

1895: A Senegalese woman is filmed by Felix-Louis Regnault during Paris Exposition Ethnographique de l’Afrique Occidentale. This is the beginning of the use of the camera to document ethnographic research.

1919: A manifesto (Kinoks-Revolution Manifesto) is issued by Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov. He calls for a new style of cinematic reportage that documents real life. He criticized the Soviet film industry for relying on the same fictional techniques employed by literature and theatre. Vertov insisted that the future of cinéma depends on reporting the truth. In 1922, he started to produce Kino Pravda (“Film Truth”). This was a sequence of news reportage films that influences both later newsreels and later documentary styles, including cinéma vérité.

1920’s:Several European experimental filmmakers begin to work with styles that use avant-garde cinématic filming and editing techniques, for example fluid camera work and montage. As well as abstract narratives to create impressionistic, highly poetic quasi-documentary works (or “visual poems”). These works include various “city films,” such as Walther Ruttmann’s Berlin: A Symphony of a Great City (Berlin, die Symphonie der Grosstadt) (1927)and Alberto Cavalcanti’s Rien que les heures (1926).

1922: Robert Flaherty films Nanook Of The North. This isgenerallyconsidered as the first feature-length documentary. The film usesa lot of the conventions of later documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, along withthe use of third-person narration and subjective tone.

1925: Sergei Eisenstein films Battleship Potemkin. This is a fictional recounting of an uprising again the Czar. It combines documentary elements with experimental editing and narrative techniques. An influence to the modern day reconstruction videos.

1926: Young Scottish academic John Grierson (1898-1972), writes a review of Robert Flaherty’s ethnographic film Moana for the New York Sun (February 8, 1926). This stemmed from his interest in mass communications in the US. During the review he mentions the term “documentary.”

1928: Dziga Vertov films The Man With The Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom). The film portrays a typical day in Moscow from dawn to dusk. Vertov’s aim was to capture “life caught unawares.” During which he uses experimental editing techniques and cinématic innovations to transform and enlighten the content.

1928: John Grierson joins the British Empire Marketing Board (EMB), a governmental agency. He then organizes the E.M.B. Film Unit. In the EMB and later on, Grierson collected a group of talented and energetic filmmakers, including, Sir Arthur Elton, Stuart Legg, Basil Wright, Edgar Anstey,Alberto Cavalcanti, Harry Watt, and Humphrey Jennings.

1930-37: The Worker’s Film and Photo League is formed in the US. It then transformed into Nykino in 1934, and finally into Frontier Films in 1937. The league had the aim of making independent documentaries with a politically and socially drivenagenda. Members include Paul Strand, Ralph Steiner, Leo Hurwitz, Willard Van Dyke, and Joris Ivens.

1935: In 1935, the Resettlement Administration, an agency established to provide aid to farmers and other rural populations, decided to produce films as a method of broadcasting its message to the wider public. The films produced under the Resettlement Administration represent the only production during peacetime by the United States Government of films. Intended for commercial release and public viewing. They started a new direction for American documentary filmmaking in terms of cinématic style and technical sophistication.

1935: German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl is commissioned by Adolph Hitler to film the annual Nazi Party rally of 1934. Triumph of the Will was the end product, a milestonefor both documentary technique and in the use of film as a powerful propaganda medium.

1935: March Of Time newsreel series is introduced.Started up by Roy Edward Larsen, a senior executive of Time-Life-Fortune, Inc. Larsen and his co-workers wanted to draw the attention of the public, andMarch of Time accomplished this by mixing dramatic reenactments, high-quality location footage, and forceful narrationprovided by Westbrook Van Voorhis. The point was to inform and dazzle audiences with “pictorial journalism” These were shown 15-20 minute segments shown between feature films in theatres.

1938: John Grierson visits Canada to consult on the possibilities of a national Canadian film organization. He was appointed Government Film Commissioner in October 1939.During the six years after accepting to lead National Film Board, Grierson gathers a team of more than 800 filmmakers.

1942-1945: Frank Capra enlists as a major in the US Army Signal Corps. During this time, he oversees the production of the documentary/propaganda series Why We Fight.

1950-60’s:With newly developed, hand-held cameras with synchronized sound, a new generation of young filmmakers in the US and Europe attempts to redefine the nature of the documentary film. Termed variously Direct Cinema (US), Cinéma Vérité (France), and Free Cinema (Canada and England), the films created by these filmmakers strive for immediacy, spontaneity, and authenticity—an attempt to bring the filmmaker and the audience closer to the subject. These films are often characterized by the use of real people in unrehearsed situations, as opposed to actors with scripts. Voice-over narration is avoided, and directorial intervention is kept to a minimum. Sets and props are never used and most films are shot on location.

1951: CBS Television introduces the first regular news magazine series, See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow. The program establishes a standard for investigative reporting by tackling large issues at that time, including McCarthyism to racial integration.

1953: National Educational Television (later the Public Broadcasting Service [PBS]) is founded.

1955: Armstrong Circle Theatre is first broadcast on American television. The program is a continuing sixty-minute series. This utilized the form that would be known as “docudrama”—dramatic recreations of real events.

1960: Jean Rouch, a veteran of ethnographic filmmaking in Africa, shoots the pioneering work Chronique d’Un Eté (Chronicle of a Summer) (released 1962) with sociologist Edgar Morin. The film deals with Parisians’ thoughts and feelings at the end of the Algerian war. His approach to documentary is to place his characters in a situation with dramatic possibilities, let them improvise, and then film them. Rouch states that Chronique is an attempt to combine Vertov’s theory and Flaherty’s method. He describes this film as “cinéma vérité” in tribute to Vertov—a direct translation of Vertov’s term “Kino Pravda.”

 

1962: Canadian filmmaker Wolf Koenig produces Lonely Boy, a profile of pop singer Paul Anka, and one of the earliest pop concert films. Unlike Drew, Pennebaker, the Maysles, and other Direct Cinéma advocates, Koenig integrates the filmmakers into the work “in the theory that the process itself was part of the reality of the work.”

1963: On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder uses an 8mm Bell & Howell home movie camera to film the employees of his clothing company while they waited to see President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas, Texas. Zapruder films the Kennedy limousine and inadvertently captures the assassination of the president on film.

1965: Sony introduces the first consumer 1/2-inch video tape recorder. Philips introduces the compact cassette for consumer audio recording and playback on small portable machines.

1967: D.A. Pennebaker filmsDon’t Look Back. This was an early portrait of Bob Dylan. This film, together with Pennebaker’s concert film Monterey Pop (1967), were two of the earliest films using real life drama to have a successful theatrical distribution.

1968: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) established

1960’s and 1970’s: In the late 1960’s, many filmmakers stray away from the approach of earlier cinéma vérité and embrace a more political and cultural approach to filmmaking. Civil rights, anti-war movements, and the women’s movement contributed to the rise of this technique. Political, social and sexual activism gives people from unspoken communities for example women, gays and lesbians an opportunitity to present their views and ideologies to a wider audience.

1970s– The late 60’s and 70’s and later decades see shifts in the narrative approach of many documentaries. Although cinéma vérité, third-person narrative and other earlier documentary forms continue, first person video storytelling begins and is considered something of a unique genre. The genre lies “somewhere in between the essay, general reportage and the well-told tale. It is marked not only by the first person voice in testimonial, but also by the bringing of the viewer into the world of the storyteller’s experience. Often socially engaged, it is rarely polemical. Indeed, it typically does not make a direct argument, but an implicit request for the viewer to recognize the reality of the speaker, and to incorporate that reality into his or her view of the world.” (Aufderheide, Patricia. “Public Intimacy: The Development of First-person Documentary.” Afterimage, July-August 1997 v25 n1)

1971: New Day Films cooperative is formed by feminist filmmakers Liane Brandon and Amalie Rothschild. It was made to distribute social issue films by independent filmmakers–the first distributor to be run entirely by and for filmmakers.

1973: PBS series, An American Family, the forerunner of what would later be called “reality TV” shows, provides a close-up view of Loud family from a real and natural perspective. Directed by Alan and Susan Raymond. The series shocks American audiences familiar with “Leave it to Beaver” television families.

1975: Sony introduces the Betamax consumer videocassette recorder (VCR) (cost: $2295)

1976: JVC introduces the VHS format VCR (cost: $885)

1980: Sony introduces the first consumer video camcorder.

1982: Sony’s Betacam, a single-unit broadcast-use camera hits the market.

1987: PBS series P.O.V.(Point of View) premieres. The program is a showcase for independent documentary filmmakers with strong political or social opinions, as well as giving an opportunity for viewers to respond to the issues presented.

1988-1991: Congress passes legislation mandating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to negotiate with a national coalition of independent film producer groups to establish the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to ensure that diverse voices be championed on public television. In the next decade, hundreds of notable documentary works air on PBS and elsewhere.

1999: The Blair Witch Project, a fake vérité documentary, grosses over $100 million in the US alone

2001– An enormous number of television programs utilizing some of the techniques of cinema vérité are programmed—so called “reality TV.” These include MTV’s Real World and The Osbournes, Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Fear Factor, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, The Mole, and Chains of Love.

 

Reference

UC Berkeley. (unknown). CHRONOLOGY OF DOCUMENTARY HISTORY. Available: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/docexhibit/docuchron.htm. Last accessed 19/06/14.

Documentary Styles/Techniques

Direct cinema (people filmed in uncontrolled situations; usually no added music; usually no use of narration; lengthy scenes to reveal glimpses of character; suggests an objective observing of reality by audience; requires active participation on the part of the audience)

Reenactment/Reconstruction: 

This technique used as part of documentaries is made-up of staged reenactments of past events, to create the look and feel of real life events. The location and settings are staged, and the people involved are actors. A good example of the use of reconstructive footage would be an English TV programme like crime watch.

Archival footage

This technique involves the use of direct cinema or previous documentary footage, or photographs from the past. It is collated and shown with the objection to review events that took place in the past to create perspective on chosen events. A good example of the use of archive footage was in ‘First Contact’ made by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson, a documentation recounting the finding of a native population in New Guinea who were situated in the highlands, a place that was otherwise known to be uninhabited. It combines the use of footage from 1930 when the Leahy brothers ventured into the unknown area, still photographs from the original expedition along with interviews from the remaining inhabitants and the surviving members of the Leahy brother’ gold prospecting party. They tell their experience of the unforeseen meeting. The documentary was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and for an Academy Award.

Interviews

Interviews are widely used in documentaries to get the opinion and views of the subject to the viewer through asking questions. This could either be through a direct interview, where the subject is seen and heard answering the questions of the interviewer who can also be heard and maybe even seen asking the questions. The more common use is the indirect interview, where you only hear and see the subject talking and not the interviewer, this is usually to make an impression that the subject is talking directly to the viewer. A good example of this is by one of the leading British practitioners Nick Bloomfield and his creation of ‘Aileen The Life and Death of a Serial Killer’. He uses several techniques to create this thought provoking documentary, one of the most compelling being the verbal accounts from the serial killer herself and her family and associates.

 

 

References

Robert Yayhke. (unknown). A PRIMER OF DOCUMENTARY FILM TECHNIQUES. Available: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~ryahnke/filmteach/My-Archive-of-Film-Notes/x-documentary-techniques.htm. Last accessed 19th June 2014.