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Give A Deep Understanding Of Documentary And Its Modes, And How They Convey Ideas To The Audience.

1813 words - 7 pages

Essay Two Documentary
While 'documentary' is the name of a genre, the term is used very broadly to cover a range of film types. What these texts have in common is that they all intend to persuade their audience to a particular viewpoint but that is where the similarities end. While documentaries are made primarily to entertain and inform audiences, there are many factors that determine the way in which they will achieve their purposes. And purpose is a driving force in determining the style a documentary will take. Some films may be created purely because of the passion and vision of a director, others may be produced as a form of propaganda, pedalling a particular viewpoint and still others may be arise because an institution or organisation feels they need to get their message out to the world. So while the genre title of 'documentary' is a useful one for Video Store owners, the conventions and styles used by documentary filmmakers vary so greatly that the term documentary really does not give the viewer much of an idea as to what to expect from their viewing experience.One mode of documentary is the institutional documentary. Institutional documentary is, in its most generic meaning, a documentary that is financially and legally supported, and more often than not, ethically regulated by the organisation that funds the project. Because of this, there is no one film maker behind the documentary who has creative control, as the institution funding the project is primarily concerned with documenting it's cause and this drives the content and often the style of presentation. The style of these documentaries are not really exciting and do not rely on dramatisation, rather they rely on using the power of the content to influence the viewer. This may make the documentary less interesting to watch but what we must realise in institutional documentary is that the institution is driven by a desire to convey a strong message but often limited by a strict budget. This leaves no room for special effects or extra scenes that may not be cost efficient, even if they may the documentary more 'entertaining'.The documentary film Facing the Music directed by Bob Conolly, a part observational and part performative documentary, is an example of an Institutionalised documentary. Concepts of the institution, the issue of funding and sponsorship, the questions of authority and resistance are all enmeshed in this documentary. The documentary follows the protagonist, Ann Boyd as she fights against the system that ultimately aims to destroy the music department at the University of Sydney. The directors in this case follow the institution of the Music Department, and document on what they see happening from their perspective. The film did not have a large budget and relies heavily on presenting the talents of the musicians studying at the University, and the passion and determination of Boyd to influence the viewer to see that the department should receive funding to...

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