Unit 6 Key Concepts

Archival Footage- film or video footage that is not custom shot for use in a specific film or television program; Stock footage, and similarly, archive footage, library pictures and file footage are film or video footage that is not custom shot for use in a specific film or television program. Stock footage is of beneficial use to filmmakers as it is far cheaper than shooting new material. Typically shot in black and white. Footage that was already shot before but is still used for a different movie. Ex: clips of cities, wildlfe, etc.

Bias- A favorable presentations issuing a form of opinion towards the presenter, whom can portray the given subject in their favorable light, whether it be positive or negative. The opinion given is not necessarily the correct answer just the opinion given. Most documentaries which are openly biased try to persuade the audience to agree with the creator's opinion. Some documentaries claim not to be bias and give a fair look at things - but in reality are. They key to bias is that even if the documentary contains facts, it can still be bias. A documentary can be bias if it presents only all the facts that support its case. Because of bias we must be weary of what we read and watch - and always search for both sides of the story. There can be facts that support both opinions.

First Person Accounts- Documents by people about a specific event that they witnessed in person or were a part of. Documentary directors often use single person interviews like this to reinforce the emotion of the people or situation they were involved in.This gives the viewer a better understanding of what really happened.

Primary Sources- A source of information that was at an event. An example would be a World War Two veteran telling about what had happened during the war. The primary source must of been at the event, he or she must have seen what happened. A primary source doesn't have to be verbal, if the person was at an event and then had written about it later, that also counts as a primary source. Someone writing about and event that wasn't there, even if they were getting information from a primary source, is still considered a secondary source.

Secondary Sources- is a secondhand account about people, events, topics or places that is based on what some other writer has experienced. Examples are newspapers, books, or other information that has already been gathered for you. Not having either first hand experience with what happened or having actual footage to what happened. Usually a person telling a story about what happened that they heard from a primary source, or a reenactment.

Journalistic vs. Editorial- journalistic documentaries are meant to present a subject from a totally objective point of view, where as editorial documentaries are meant to present one side of an argument. Journalistic writing or movies are supposed to inform without any bias, and just try to get all the facts across. Journalistic styles allow the viewer or reader to form an opinion about the subject matter. The problem these days is that it is easy to present the story - so different news channels must give their own spin on it to try and attract viewers. The amount of unbiased, proper television journalism is dropping. The news stations need someway to differentiate themselves from other stations - so the conservatives gives a conservative spin on things and the liberals give a liberal spin on things. Entirely journalistic documentaries are difficult to make, because the creator usually has a point he or she wants to prove. Editorial writing or movie making tries to prove a point or make a statement in favor or against something.

"Voice of God" Narration- narration which is supposed to be authoritative and ‘anonymous’ -- isolated studio recording is called for. The voice track is recorded with a full presence, completely free of any ambient background noise or room coloration (room echo or bounce). The narrator is not seen within the movie. Movies like this include March of the Penguins, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and Dust to Glory. If the narration is supposed to be authoritative and ‘anonymous’ (commonly nicknamed the "voice of God" approach) -- then isolated studio recording is called for. The voice track is recorded with a full presence, completely free of any ambient background noise or room coloration (room echo or bounce).

Voice-over Narration- dialogue spoken by an unseen speaker who is not in the scene; used in a radio, television, film, theatre, or other presentation. The voice-over may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor

Docudrama- a documentary-style genre that features dramatized re-enactments of actual historical events; A filmed dramatization based on fact that combines documentary and fictional elements. In the production process, "based on" allows the creators of the text wide creative latitude and a docudrama is, at best, a skillful representation of a real person or event.
Biopic - a film that dramatizes the life of an actual person or people. They differ from films “based on a true story” or “historical films” in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a person’s life story or at least the most historically important years of their lives.

Re-enactments- activities in which participants try to reacreate some aspects of an event. These can be used for intimate, violent, or historical situations. Actors rarely speak because it would upset the continuity of the scene.

Objectivity- Having an impartial, unbiased attitude. Most documentaries fail to maintain objectivity and tend to portray one side of the argument.
like neutrality, it describes an explanation or showing of something that doesn't have a bias toward human emotions

Observational- fly-on-wall; creates impression of events unfolding naturally in front of camera.