Terms in this set (46)

It is more concern with the recording of reality, the education of viewers, or the presentation of political or social analysis. However, filmmakers employ storytelling and dramatization to some degree in shaping their material. No documentary subject that knows they are being filmed can ever behave as she would off camera. There are four basic approaches: factual, instructional, persuasive, and propaganda. Factual films usually present people, places, or processes, in straightforward ways meant to entertain and instruct without unduly influencing audiences. Instructional films seek to educate viewers about common interests, rather than persuading them to accept particular ideas. The founding purpose of persuasive films was to address social injustice, but today any documentary concerned with presenting a particular perspective on social issues or with corporate and governmental injustices of any kind is considered persuasive. When they are produced by governments and carry governments' messages, they overlap with propaganda films, which systematically disseminate deceptive or distorted information. Most documentary movies that we consider worthy of study today are hybrids that combine qualities of two or more of the categories. This versatility is one reason that they are enjoying a renaissance unprecedented in the history of cinema. Another type is direct cinema, which eschew interviewers and limit the use of narrators. It involve the placement of small portable cameras and sound recording equipment in an important location for days or weeks, recording events as they occur. While it can reveal a subject in a profound and unexpected way, it will hide or transfer the functions of the voice narrative and perspective to the more "invisible" power of other filmmaking system. The editing process can exclude certain material, ironically juxtapose people, events, and ideas, and arrange reality to suit the perspective of the filmmaker.