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Docudrama VS Mockumentary -
Today we looked at two different types of documentary, Mockumentary and Docudrama.
Docudrama is a dramatic reconstruction of facts while Mockumentary is pretending to be a documentary (Not a real event but mocks a subject matter).
A Docudrama is a way of interesting an audience as well as engaging them by using a range of different techniques to reenact something that is fact or an event that happened. One thing that is great about Docudrama’s is that it is better than sitting there watching and listening to someone that is just talking about something. Instead of that you are watching it be ‘re-played’.
Also Docudrama is great because it is a cross between Documentary and Drama. Drama has a way of playing with time by using dramatic techniques, this then allows directors to play with time as they don’t have to protray the events in real time.
Good example of Docudrama’s are films like:
- The Social Network: A docudrama about the creator of Facebook and Facebook evolved.
- 127 Hours: A docudrama about a man who got stuck and had to amutate his own arm to get free.
Both of the examples are true events but they have been reenacted to give the audience a better grasp of what happened rather than someone telling them.
A Mockumentary is a documentary that in a sense is mocking the subject matter as if it is pretending to be a documentary. Events are portrayed as if they did exist by using a range of different techniques. Such as using cliché, handheld camera shots, shots were nothing is happening and a interview style technique called ‘Talking Head’.
Mockumentaries are NOT studio set up, they have a sense of realism and used Cinéma Vérité which is french for Truthful Cinema. Mockumentaries uses this to convay that what the audience is seeing is true.
Examples of good mockumentary are:
- Borat: Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world.
- This is Spinal Tap: Spinal Tap, the world’s loudest band, is chronicled by hack documentarian Marti DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
- The Office: The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager Brent as they continue their daily lives.
All three examples are brilliant Mockumentaries, In ‘The Office’ the camera at some point attempts to become invisable by hiding behind objects. What makes ‘The Office’ such a great mockumentary is the fact that everyone knows the camera is there. Also like all Mockumentaries its comical.
The Office is a television series Mockumentary which started in 2001 and ended in 2003, three series worth of comdey and drama. The series was directed and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant. Not only was this television series classed as a Mockumentary it was also listed a a sitcom. It was first created in the UK but now has been re-made in other countries. However unlike the UK version the U.S version created eight series, that’s a total of 164 episodes as of January 2012.
I am not a huge fan of Ricky Gervais however I did find ’The Office’ very comical. I really enjoyed the technique ‘talking head’ because it allowed you get to get a feel of what each character was thinking and feeling. Not only that it allows the audience to feel included.
What I also like about ‘The Office’ is the way (like I said before) the characters know that the camera is there. For example in Series 1, Episode 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7UrvGg65Lw) the characters ‘Gareth Keenan’ and ‘Tim Canterbury’ don’t get along to great as one likes playing pranks while the other prefers to be serious at work. Anyway at one point the character ‘Tim’ builds a wall between their desks with filing boxes so he doesn’t have to see the other character ‘Gareth’. When ‘Gareth’ requests something from him, ‘Tim’ walks away being unsee by ‘Gareth’ due to the ‘wall’ that has been build. Once ‘Gareth’ figures this out he says:
“… right. I know you’re not there and obviously you can’t hear that. I’m not talking to myself because they’re filming.”
This is funny because of the fact he is talking to himself even thought he is stating he isn’t. I wouldn’t mind watching another episode because ‘The Office’ is very funny.
(See Factuality (Part 20))
After looking at www.vimeo.com/channels/documentaryfilms I found a little small documentary that caught my eye called ‘Fade’.
Fade - http://vimeo.com/34518694
This short documentary was created by Joshua VP and filmed my Joshua VP and Brian Grabski.
In the documentary you see many different visuals of what appears to be the Grand Canon. You get to see the beauty of the world as you listen to an amazing soundtrack. This is a documentary that has not got many words which makes it an observational documentary. In this documentary there is some moments where the technique timelaspe was used. Timelaspe is also used in the documentation film Koyaanisqatsi(part of the Qatsi trilogy) (See Mobile Monday: 5th December).
I think what made me want to watch this documentary was the fact that it shows how amazing the world is around us and it was very relaxing to watch and made me feel at peace.
Final Moment of Wonder from this documentary would be the lighting in the dark and the timelaspe sections.
(See Factuality (Part 3))
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Here are different definitions of the word ‘Documentary’:
- 1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents. 2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/documentary)
- Documentary texts are supposedly those which aim to document reality, attempting veracity in their depiction of people, places and events. (http://www.mediaknowall.com/as_alevel/Documentary/docu_index.php)
- 1. Also, doc·u·men·tal, pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents: a documentary history of France. 2. Movies, Television . based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: a documentary life of Gandhi. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/documentary)
- 1. being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence> 2. of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : factual, objective <a documentary film of the war> (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/documentary)
- Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_film)
John Grierson -
John Grierson was a Scottish Documentarian who was also known as ‘The Moviegoer’ was known to have coined up the word ‘Documentary’. John Grierson believed that observing life could be shown in a new art form by having the original scene with the original character. He believed this would allows the audience to get a better and more real understanding than something that has been re-enacted.
Dziga Vertov -
David Abelevich Kaufman better known as Dziga Vertov was also a documentary film director as well as a newreels and cinema theorist. His filming actually had a huge empact on cinema’s because of his style of documentation.
Below is a list of some of the famous Documentaries I have watched:
- Justin Lee Colin’s: Turning Japanese (http://www.channel5.com/shows/justin-lee-collins-turning-japanese)
- Planet Earth (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mywy)
- How Bruce Lee Changed The World (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H684-xAMOZE)
(See Factuality (Part 2))