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Megan Freestone

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of DOCUMENTARY

What is a documentary?
The History...
Expert Definition...
"Documentaries bring viewers into new worlds and experiences through the presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events, generally portrayed through the use of actual images and artifacts. But factuality alone does not define documentary films; it's what the filmmaker does with those factual elements, weaving them into an overall narrative that strives to be as compelling as it is truthful and is often greater than the sum of its parts."

Expert Definition...
Typical Features...
•The scenes in a documentary are carefully chosen and arranged, usually through editing to create a specific effect.

•Documentaries are usually not scripted and the people in the footage are typically not actors.

•A documentary film often includes a voice-over narrative to describe what is happening.

• A documentary often includes interviews throughout for additional context or information.

•Documentaries are often used to reveal an unusual, interesting or unknown angle of looking at a topic.
A simple definition of a documentary is a non-fictional film that 'documents' or 'captures' reality.
"cinema's potential for observing life could be exploited in a new art form; the 'original' subject and 'original' scene are better guides than their fictional alternatives to interpreting the modern world; and materials 'thus taken from the raw' can be more real than the acted article"
The word 'documentary' was first used in a review of Robert Flaherty's film 'Moana' in 1926. The review was written by film critic John Grierson who became famously known as
'the father of british documentary film'.
Grierson defined documentary as
"creative treatment of actuality"
and he later wrote an essay on the principles of documentary and the key points he made were as follows:
‘Documentary Storytelling’
is a best selling book first published in 2003. It was written by Sheila Curran Bernard, an award winning author, filmmaker and industry expert. In the book, she described documentaries in great detail and here is an extract from the text:
The following clip is an extract from a youtube video providing a further definition of documentary from an industry expert.
Full transcript