the art and science of making a motion picture Cinematography in documentary films
What is the purpose in making a historical documentary? Are historical documentaries a good way to learn about the past? What kind of viewers are documentaries made for? Are they made just to provide information or just for entertainment? Do documentaries present a balanced and fair depiction of events? -How can you tell? What is the difference between a documentary and a propaganda film?
Components of cinematography 1 How are camera angles used? establishing shot long shot medium shot close up over the shoulder high angle low angle panning and tracking Here’s a site that gives you examples of different camera angles: http://www.learner.org/exhibits/cinema/directing2.html
Components of cinematography 2 How do directors use various elements of film craft to add drama, build mood, and to add credibility and authenticity? setting background lighting special effects framing the shot music sound effects costuming & makeup editing cuts credits
What methods are used to communicate the history in the documentary? Where is there focus on narration/voice overs dramatisation of events weaving in contemporary film, photographs and other artifacts How and why is music used? Is it a primary source/modern? How and why are sound effects and special effects used?
How do the direction of the film influence how the history in the documentary is interpreted? Does the documentary focus on any particular viewpoints, social groups, values or morals? How are differences between the past and present highlighted? Do events and people evoke emotional reactions ? Does the audience identify with one character and one voice or with many eyes and voices?
A structure for analysing the history in a film Movie Scene Description Historical item/aspect Scientific significance Social significance Evidence of accuracy or inaccuracy
Movie – A Knight’s Tale Scene Description – Under arrest William Thatcher is placed under arrest. As part of his incarceration he is placed in stocks in the village square. Historical item/aspect – the use of stocks for punishment Scientific significance – Stocks were of a very elementary construction, usually wood and sometimes with metal locks. Stocks could be easily set up in public places. Social significance – Stocks are often represented as a form of punishment of the time (C15th). It was common to put prisoners on public display as part of their punishment. Evidence of accuracy or inaccuracy That stocks were used by the Anglo-Saxons is proved by their often figuringAnglo-Saxons in drawings of the time (see Harleian MSS. No. 65). The second Statute of Labourers (1350) ordered the punishment for unruly artisans. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Stocks_(Punishment)