Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Documentary Genres

An interactive documentary is a documentary in which the 
majority of the time the filmmaker is involved and on screen. 
Interactive documentaries are often a personal to the 
filmmaker/director themselves, which explains the reasoning of 
why they are on screen in the majority of interactive 
documentaries. A perfect example of this is the film 
‘Religulous’ which involves the director himself Bill Maher 
traveling to find out about and take on the current state of world 

The genre of an expository documentary is a very factual style and 
mainly used for history or nature documentaries. These 
documentaries are uses evidence and information to prove 
something or educate and inform the viewer on the subject matter 
with help from a narrator giving details to explain and teach as 
such. The documentary TV series ‘Planet Earth’ does this very well 
as, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, it gives information and 
hard evident facts about the global overview of different habitats on 

An observational documentary where the film 
will follow and observe a person, event, or 
even a group of people and what they do. 
With no narration the story of the 
documentary is told through the visuals that 
the audience is observing. ‘Anywhere But 
Home’ is a documentary that follows the 
band Evanescence as they show their life 
whilst on tour.

This is a documentary that is meant to make the viewers 
feel tension. By using recreations and some archive 
footage of events the majority of performative 
documentaries are structured as a drama. Having 
interviews with people from the event and experts helps to 
give the sense of drama through out as the audience is 
hearing it from the people who have experienced it first 
hand. A great example of this is the documentary 
‘Touching The Void’. A film about mountain climbers 
conquering the west face of Siula Grande with interviews of the climbers talking 
about the events that have happened and deadly risks they had to face. 

With a very simple structure, the essayistic genre is a documentary that is set out like an essay as if someone is explaining rather than showing the audience. Formed from personal events and opinions on a chosen subject the documentary, however still including the facts f the matter, is there more to educate rather for the sake of filming. An example of this style of genre is the Channel4 TV series ‘The Story Of Film: An Odyssey ’. This shows director Mark Cousins going through the history of film with facts, and his own opinions on the matter and personal events that have happened to him. 


1 comment:

  1. Grade: Merit

    Why: you have clearly explained the codes and conventions of Documentary

    To D: Add Experimental with an example.