In and action films. All those fiction

 

In
this essay, I am going to introduce the truth, history, and development of
documentary, meanwhile the limitation in contemporary documentary films and how
I apply the documentary concept to my own artefact. The documentary is the
presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events,
generally portrayed through the use of actual images and artifacts (Dawkins and
Wynd 2010 cited in Bernard 2004: 2). It seems that documentary has been used as
a tool to record real life, for example, documentary Exiting the Factory recorded works walk out of the factory gate.

However, simply documentaries often boring to the audience (Dawkins and Wynd
2010: 190). Most documentaries just recorded of historical events or
characters, it is not about a dramatic story likes fiction films, even though
some documentaries about wildlife which interested to some children audiences,
but normally boring to adult audiences. Documentary films are not only to
reveal the reality but also to analyze it. But in contemporary documentary
films, the producer put too many new technologies and concepts into
documentaries, in otherwise, more performance used in the documentary, as
consequence, it is a documentary and reality debates now. The more manipulation
of the documentary film, it would be a mockumentary, for instance, Zelig. Furthermore, the documentary has
been used as a propaganda likes Triumph
of the Will.

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The
word documentary certainly suggests an interest in what is actual, what exists,
rather than what one brings personally (Coles 1997: 5). It is a powerful
boundary between fiction and documentary films, the most genres of films are
fiction films, for instance, drama, science fiction, and action films. All
those fiction films which usually stage and pre-script their events, and
generally use actors (Branston and Stafford 2010: 360). Generally, the
documentary is opposite to fiction, it told truth and recorded the factual.

Most early films could classify as the documentary, for example, Lumière Brothers-Workers Exiting the
Factory, Lumière brothers put a camera in front of the gate of the factory
and record it then. In Exiting the
Factory, it had no story and background, furthermore, all the person in the
film are normal and real works instead of professional actors. However, for Exiting the Factory, the director had to
instruct the workers not to look at the camera (Mikelli: 2017), so this could
be a manipulation of documentary films. In later, Robert Flaherty, he produced
a successful documentary, Nanook of the
North, but he used a sort of fiction film techniques such as a dramatic
character and a narrative structure (Mikelli:2017), even though the film is
recorded a real life. Many documentaries are not only considered as a method to
record historical events and characters (Branston and Stafford 2010: 358) but
also a political function. Following the narrative structure and techniques
changed, the more manipulation would put into the documentary, for example, Triumph of the Will, most of the critic
judge it as a propaganda, not a documentary even though the author declares it
is purely artistic, in contrast, it is considered as a tribute to the Nazi
party (Mikelli: 2017). Most recently successful documentaries such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Supersize Me, The Story of
the Weeping Camel, Touching the Void and An Inconvenient Truth, those all
are more interesting and valid brief. (Dawkins and Wynd 2010: 190) Comparing
with previous documentaries, the contemporary documentaries are more attractive
and abundant rather than early documentary films. In term of that innovation in
recent documentaries, a lot of problems appeared, for example, it confuses to
separate fiction and truth in documentaries, one example is drama-documentary. Roger and Me, Michael
Moore’s presents certain events out of chronological order, for this reason, a
part of critics think it is not a documentary, furthermore, in Roger and Me, Michael is a director, the
writer even actor (Mikelli: 2017). In the other situation, a film used to
persuade viewers that what they see is a true story, it called Mockumentary,
for instance, Zelig. Woody Allen
plays Zelig, he changes his
appearance as a result viewers can recognize Allen in the role of Zelig
(Mikelli: 2017). Obviously, Zelig is
not a documentary. In addition to those issues, there are still some
limitations in contemporary documentaries, for example, a revelation about the
commercial and political potential of the documentary in cinemas as well as on
TV; less often discussed the certain audience (Branston and Stafford 2010:
359). Some documentaries used to propagate for politician’s election campaign,
some documentaries used as a tool to earn the commercial profit. The other
question is audience should be considered as an important clue in documentary
production. The different types of documentary correspond to certain level
audiences, for example, the historical documentaries produced for audiences who
are interested in humanity. All those of issues need to solve in the future
documentary, but it is not necessary to be pessimistic about manipulation in
documentaries, an appropriate change could be better to express the theme of documentaries
to the audience and more attractive to the filmmaker also.

 

In
my own artefact, the concept of a documentary which I practice it. We intended
to apply documentary style for expressing the history, evolution, and
limitation of the documentary. The Cartwright’s 70-30-10 rule, most successful documentaries
are the 70 percent of the time that should be spent on pre-production. (Dawkins
and Wynd 2010: 202) In our pre-production time, we decided to what narrative
structure and storyboard we used in my documentary. In my artefact, we start
from history introduction of the documentary, the development of documentary,
recent issue in contemporary documentaries and conclusion lastly. It is a quite
simple logic structure in my artefact. For expressing this structure, we
decided different role for each person in our documentary crew. Even we have a
pre-production time and a shooting schedule, but we still had chaos in our
production day. As many documentaries, we used an interview in our artefact, a
good setting for interview is important in documentaries, therefore it would
break the documentary, however, we shoot in the university building on a
working day, it always interrupted by students and university staffs, as a
result, we continuously changed the place. Comparing with most leading
documentary makers will have a clear idea of what they are going to shoot
before they shoot it, (Dawkins and Wynd 2010: 216) we need to improve it in
pre-production. It is one important fundamental tendency of the documentary, to
record. (Renov 1993: 21) For recording, we used contemporary technical
equipment to make the documentary, it is different to the early filmmaker that
they need to hold a large and heavy camera, we just used a Canon 700D, it is
more small and convenient. Furthermore, in the previous time, a filmmaker could
make a 2 or 3 minutes short film, we can make a longer film now. we also used an
Edirol R09 to records instead of camera microphone. It is the same as another
genre of films, whatever the content, every type of documentaries has its
certain audience. My artefact has its own function, study, in term of this
reason, many monologues of documentary information in my artefact, this is also
the other one fundamental tendency of the documentary, to persuade. (Renov
1993: 21) It is some limitation in my documentary, for example, the documentary
is a new area for me, a lot of knowledge of it that I do not familiar,
meanwhile, I did less research about documentary, as consequence, the
expression is simple that I used in my artefact, for instance, just interview
and monologue. In addition to this, our performance is deliberated and rigid in
the documentary, it not only looks like a mockumentary, but also it loses the
aesthetic function. Even though my artefact has some limitation, however, it is
a good attempt for me.

 

In
contemporary documentaries, it is not only truth-telling about historical events
and characters, but also is an expression of filmmakers. For example, when I
make a documentary, it is not satisfied with a description of the object which
I noticed, I also mixed different form of films into my documentary, it would
make the documentary more dramatic and vivid. As a filmmaker, I also participated
in my artefact, furthermore, a reflexive relationship was constructed between
me and my audiences, I provide the information of documentary and my own
argument of contemporary documentaries innovation, in contrast, for that innovation,
we also be cautious of it, for instance, performance in the documentary, my
documentary seems fake, except the performance problem caused it, my direction
is not skilled also, as a result, it is not likes record fact, it likes to
create something for persuading audiences believed it. In concluding, the
documentary is not only simply to record reality, but also a representation of
factual. Even in term of technology and social setting changed, the boundary of
the documentaries and fiction films becoming more ambiguous, for example, the mockumentary
is appeared, however, the documentary also becoming a popular form in the film
industry. Those changes are both chance and challenge to filmmakers. 

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