Documentary as Action – Week 3 Review

This week in Documentary as Action, while we did have our first Monday without Kim, we began to learn about ethics within documentary, through readings and examples of documentaries with ethical issues. Ethics is an important thing to think about when making our documentaries, especially for those who will be working with social not for profit organisations that may deal with delicate issues. It is important we treat each client with utmost respect, and ensure we tell their stories in a way that is not offensive or untruthful.

During our Friday lesson, we first all discussed our own documentary ideas and how they are tracking. This was a good session as it helped us bounce ideas off each other, and gain all important feedback and suggestions from Robin.

During last weeks lesson, Robin set us a task to walk around the university, place our camera and tripod somewhere, and simply film what was happening without moving the camera or manipulating the scene in anyway. We reviewed the footage today, and found that most of us had created quite good shots, however most were either way too dark or way too bright. So we set up the cameras once more and learnt exactly how to fix these issues using some of the camera’s functions, while also getting some extra practise on how to use the cameras in.

We finished off the lesson learning about interviews within documentary, and how they can be both very important and unimportant. We discussed how doing a primary interview can be a great way to do some research on the topic for our documentary. We finished the class looking at some formal interviews within documentary, and talking about how little things, such as leaving the interviewer’s voice in, and not editing out mistakes made by the interviewee, can make such a difference to the documentary you make.

Next week we will be looking at not formal interviews and their impact, giving us a lot to think about in terms of our own documentary and its style!

Check out the week 3 blog video here:


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