Film-TV 2: Documentary Modes

Earlier this week, the group got together and discussed our approach, in terms of documentary modes, to the project. Feeling unsure of my knowledge toward and memory of documentary modes, I decided to revisit some of my notes from last semester’s documentary studies subject.

Expository

  • Voiceovers addressed the audience directly
  • Voice-of-God narration
  • Use of archival footage – images, video footage, interviews
  • Filmmaker attempts to persuade audience of a particular point of view

Observational

  • No voiceovers
  • No interviews
  • Synchronous sound recording
  • Filmmaker’s presence is hidden
  • Handheld
  • Long takes dominate

Participatory

  • Filmmaker and documentary crew  intervenes and/or interacts with the subject
  • Filmmaker may include voiceovers to narrate the documentary
  • Includes interviews (on-the-run questioning)
  • Handheld
  • Long takes dominate
  • Use of archival material

Reflexive

  • Borrows techniques from fiction films
  • Use reenactments
  • Incorporates Dramatic music
  • Voiceovers are used to pose questions

Performative

  • Filmmaker and documentary crew interacts with subject
  • Filmmaker comments on the process of making the documentary
  • Discusses topics that has to do with identity rather than factual ones
  • No proper conclusion
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