Compare the main codes and conventions of two television documentaries and explain the effect they have on the presentation of the subject matter
Most of the time people expect that a documentary is telling the truth. This is not true most documentaries are lies. Documentaries are considered as a special type of programme because it informs the audience about person or animals way of life. The audience tend to believe that a documentary is not fiction but is actually filming real life events and that these events will be happening even though the camera is on them or not. This is unlike entertainment television, which is fiction and is made to keep the audience excited. The audience’s expectations of documentaries are seen to be of non-fiction. The audience what to believe what they are watching is ‘real’ and not made up. The Audience assume that the documentary is recorded and not manipulated by the filmmaker. All these assumptions are quite questionable and they need to be carefully looked at.
The book ‘Representing Reality’ which was written by Bill Nicholls identifies 5 different types of modes of documentary. The two modes of documentary we have studied were Observational and Interactive. Observational documentary is mostly called “fly on the wall” Because the makers of the documentary wish to make the audience feel that they are like a fly on the wall and that the events that are happening would happen if they were there or not. Observational documentaries are different from interactive documents because in an observational documentary the camera crew are not normally seen and there is no one interviewing the actors / people. The people who are being filmed are meant to forget that the camera crew are there and they are meant to continue doing there every day things. This is aimed to give the audience ‘a slice of reality’. The film crew can not do or say what they would want to, they can not make the people who are being film do something that hey would not want to do.