Annotated Bibliography- Research Project

Here is my annotations for our group project ‘Future of Documentary’

1, Mertes, C. (2007). Future Doc: The View from Sundance. [online] International Documentary Association. Available at: [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

The article outlines the challenges that documentary filmmakers face with commercially dominated media and audiences being disengaged from the message that these filmmakers initiate. The author is analytical as she argues that with the evolution of technology, how filmmakers have adapted themselves with the changes and how audiences have changed their viewing over time as well. This article is addressed towards the documentary filmmakers and academic researches of media and film field. The author also addresses on what if scenarios with regards to the future of documentary. Even though the article is 10 years old, Cara’s predictions are almost true to what she wrote like people wearing tiny cameras (action cameras) for recording and people not buying ticket to a film as theatrical distribution being morphed onto on-demand projection at any location and namely any device. the author also talks about audience being fed with consumerism and that filmmakers have to not only just raise awareness or entertain them, but also to create a culture of engagement.

The articles provides a useful rationale explaining the future of documentary filmmaking and its connectivity with the audience. Her findings are her own experiences as she is a director of documentary film program at Sundance institute. However I’m a bit concerned about her findings as they may be limited to what she has experienced in her surroundings or the films that are submitted at Sundance, That being said, her finding that documentary is filling the void left by the dying art of journalism is something to think about. This article is useful for our research topic as it gives a useful insight and provides a filmmakers perspective for our group’s objective.

2, Pyburn, R. (2016). How Emerging Technology is Shaping the Future of Documentary Filmmaking. [online] Whicker’s World Foundation. Available at: [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

The article explores how innovations in technology is shaping the future of documentary filmmaking. The article suggests that the art of storytelling elements have remained the same but the technologies have evolved which are used as tools to tell the story. The article is addressed towards students of media. The article explains how Robert Flaherty’s ‘Nanook of the North’ was shoot with the innovative Akeley ‘pancake’ Camera which lasted for two decades after its creation which is unthinkable in today’s market as technology keeps on evolving and that if Flaherty would shoot a documentary today, he would only require a smartphone and portable audio recording equipment. The author also comments on new technologies is being used besides camera like drones for instance. As per their own investigation, 9% of filmmakers have used footage from drones and 18% have used action camera in their latest documentary. More importantly, the article talks about the role of viewers that could shift with the introduction of virtual reality as a platform to view as couple of filmmakers have made such documentaries and it seems that there will be more such in near future.

The article’s findings are reasoning enough as the author has conducted researches and surveys at macro scale, however when in surveys, there is no proof of whether the ones who filled it, did it with such intentions. Secondly no personal opinions can be heard and this survey technique is based more on quantitative rather than qualitative. This research is though useful as is provides supplementary information towards our research and potentially supports in capturing authentic storytelling as technologies develop.

3, MORTON, T, & PEARSON, M 2015, ‘1. Zones of silence’, Pacific Journalism Review, 21, 2, pp. 11-32, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 August 2016.

4, Stoeltje, G. (2003). Light in Custody: Documentary Films, the Teach Act and the DMCA. Santa Clara Computer High Technology Law Journal, 20(4), pp.1075-1112.

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