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Observational Documentary. What is Observational D ocumentary?. ‘Fly on the wall’ Documentary Follows every move of the subject Observational documentary tends to simply observe- allowing the viewers to reach whatever conclusions they like

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What is observational d ocumentary
What is Observational Documentary?

  • ‘Fly on the wall’ Documentary

  • Follows every move of the subject

  • Observational documentary tends to simply observe- allowing the viewers to reach whatever conclusions they like

  • The aim is for the subject act naturally- ‘social actor’


‘Observational cinema affords the viewer an opportunity to look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

- Nichols, Bill (p.42)


Direct cinema or cinema verite
Direct Cinema or Cinema look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’ Verite

  • Direct Cinema

    • Camera is just left to watch events unfold

    • Waits for something naturally to happen

    • Filmmaker is not involving the events

    • Filmmaker is in a passive role

    • Truth or reality is shown naturally

  • Cinema Verite

    • ‘Permitting and even encouraging interaction between the subject and director, is cinema veritelegitimised the camera’s presence and let the crew become catylyst for what took place on the screen’

    • Filmmaker is involving the events and provoke the subject

    • Filmmaker is in a more active role

    • Truth or reality is shown by the filmmaker’s effort


Don t look back 1967
Don’t Look Back (1967) look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

  • D.A Pennebaker

  • 1965 UK tour

  • Direct Cinema

  • Follows Dylan in public and personal life

  • Invented ‘rock documentary’

  • Shows a side to Dylan that otherwise wouldn’t have been seen


Don t look back 19671
Don’t Look Back (1967) look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be9rTOnYnx0


Techniques seen
Techniques Seen look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

  • Hand-held camera

  • Very long takes

  • No voiceover

  • Synchronous Sound

  • No organised interviews

  • Rely on editing to enhance the impression of lived or real time


Technique evidence
Technique Evidence look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be9rTOnYnx0


Pro s con s of observational mode of documentary
Pro’s & Con’s of Observational Mode of Documentary look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

  • Pro’s

    • The subject is seen completely naturally

    • Get to see everyday life of a subject

    • Compared to other documentary modes, this is more likely to be the most authentic

    • Viewers can interpret own opinions and idea’s on the subject

  • Con’s

    • How authentic is it?

    • Editor can cut out scenes

    • Can’t pick up on all the details through the camera

    • Long takes can drag

    • Inconsistent camera work


Questions
Questions? look in on and over hear something of the lived experience of others, to gain some sense of the distinct rhythms of everyday life, to see the colours, shapes, and special relationships among people, and their possessions, to hear the intonation, inflection, and accents that give a spoken language its grain, and that distinguish one native speaker from another.’

  • How authentic do you think observational style documentary is?

  • What is your opinion on Bob Dylan after watching the clip?

  • Do you think the documentary suits the mode its made in?


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