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Research Report - Documentary Films

             In this report I will look at what documentary films are and what techniques that are used when making them. I will also look at the way in which documentaries are edited.
             Documentary film is a broad category of moving pictures intended to document some aspect of reality. Although documentaries attempt to do this they are as carefully constructed as feature films. The documentary must also appeal to and engage the audience. This is done by using techniques of detail, style, film language, verbal language, and structure. To get the most out of the documentary things must also appeal to the audiences' values and attitudes so the audience can relate to it in a way and respond. "I began to feel that the drama of the truth that is in the moment and in the past is richer and more interesting than the drama of Hollywood movies. So I began looking at documentary films." - Ken Burns. There is a new documentary series out called "Remembrance Week". In this series Rav Wilding presents the programme commemorating Remembrance Sunday, featuring interviews with serving and former members of the UK's armed forces. Celebrating the courage and bravery of soldiers, he learns how conflicts have affected their lives and those of their families, from the Second World War to current operations in Afghanistan. "In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director." - Alfred Hitchcock.
             Editing is part of the process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and in the end creating a finished film or in this case a documentary. It is an art of storytelling. An editor is a person who practices editing by assembling the footage. However, the job of an editor isn't simply to put pieces of a film together and cut off or edit dialogue scenes. An editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing, as well as the actors or presenters performances to effectively "re-imagine" the film or give the message to make everything work.

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