Friday, 29 April 2016

Codes and conventions of new packages

I will be referring to the news above and pointing out the codes and conventions in this report as well as news packages as a whole.

In order to have any report, a structure is required which puts it together. In a news report, the story and situation being discussed and produced may be concluded to be in a chronological/linear structure in the way shots have been combined and the way the news has been told to be received by audiences.

In a typical news report (like the one above), the introduction introduces the viewer to the story by the lead summary explaining how a recent document released declared how an 'Academic' school is portraying itself as a Islamic school which is obviously against the law shown in 2:39 and starts off in a studio.The way this information has been released by the reporter is very formal and she looks truthful as the reporter dressing in a 'smart' way tends to give the impression that they are very smart. This can also be looked at by the way she talks in terms of dialect and tone/pitch. She has a formal British way of talking and her tone was subtle and calm.

After the lead summary the reporter creates links to exterior location which consists of a field reporter elaborating on the story and allows interviews and references (quotes) which engages the viewers as if the only location and scene viewers had to keep up with it'd be very boring.  If you have a look at 4:24 you will see the school kids getting interviewed by the field reporter with a clear medium shot and close up throughout which allows the audience to persevere and also take in their responses better; with those shot types you can see the boys are secondary school pupils and they look like teenagers which means their opinions and what they say might be valid. This makes an interview very effective. In this case, the students have been sort of lied to about going to an academy but is actually in fact an "Islamic school" the confusion and displeasure on their face creates sympathy having an effect on the audience and adding to the story.

Actuality Footage tends to come after interviews, in this news report 5:09 and 9:04 are the actuality footages showing present discussions and what is being done to help this issue. 5:09 shows the school leaders denying the allegations and 9:04 shows government intervention with a debate in the house of commons. This makes the documentary very objective and balanced as we hear from the accused and those who arose the issue(especially being  BBC news ran by the government, they must have to intervene) . The audience get both sides of the story which helps with understanding of the story.

After all the interactions and development of the story the field reporter later Links back to studio in order to summarise the whole story and move on to the next story which will probably follow the same report structure.

This school 'crisis' being the first report may have been the reason why an archival footage hasn't been shown to avoid overusing it. However we can find it in the news report at 14:01 where it shows a fire that occurred in Pakistan the night before the news report and the reporter uses that to show evidence as well as to make reference to.


Friday, 22 April 2016

Nichols' Documentary Modes


The expository documentary mode is mainly about the verbal emphasis on the commentary side in a documentary, usually done by narrators. This is achieved by using voiceovers as well as titles which gives has an authoritative tone and effect to which puts the audience under the power of the narrator  or sometimes the presenter (especially because this type of mode aims for the narrator/presenter to talk directly to the audience) hence why the expository mode is also known as "The voice of God".  This mode is commonly used for television news programmes and can also be used in wildlife documentaries as well which the main purpose is to inform and educate the audiences. For example, Steve Backshall documentaries are all about wildlife and he speaks directly to the audience explaining the behaviours and actions being made by the animals which engages the video and has them under his 'authority' which is really an advantage because then what's the purpose of making a documentary? His documentaries are evidentiary; editing which serves to maintain the continuity of the spoken perspective by combining shots together showing different shots (close ups and long shots) in order to show the subject as well as the surroundings to also emphasise the events that occur.                                          
If you have a look at this documentary by Steve Backshall the beginning begins with a close up/zoom into a tigers foot in order for the audience to see the animal he would be studying in that documentary(voiceover). 
The disadvantage with the expository mode is that it might seem subjective as it's coming from the narrator or the presenter view and perspective but this mode is mainly used for factual documentary where the narrator/presenter is impartial and use evidence besides facts. 
The observational documentary mode is also known as the "window on the world" as it persist of social actors who behave as if no film maker is present and they are living a normal life. This means there's no voiceovers, no soundtrack, no narrators, sometimes no interview; basically the only type of sound you'll hear is dialogue (diegetic sound) and whatever sound the actors decide to play but not done during the editing process. Examples i can use for this mode is the "Keeping up with the Kardashian" show or "The Osbournes" which is about famous families lives and keeping up with what they do  daily.
The main advantage of this mode is that nothing is planned (well for most of it) so it is up to the audience to explore the issues and events which can be said to engage viewers. However, there will be some bits/scenes where the audience will not understand what is going on but the actors do which can and/or may disengage the viewers and can be off-putting. The actors also tend to not repeat certain things again so if you miss it, that's it. 
Looking at the video below you can see that there is camera's everywhere the actors go which also shows continuity and can be done by in camera editing but for this show there is too many movement and locations for it to be in-camera editing, the only explanation is combining shots especially because it's multi-cam.  The actors also avoid looking at the camera which adds to the effect of the documentary to be the window on the world. 

The participatory documentary mode is often indicated by an interview between the film makers and the subject. This means the audience gets to perceive sometimes personal interviews. It is most effective with criminal 'judgement' documentaries an example of this is "Aileen Wuornos; Life and Death of a serial killer" by Nick Broomsfield. Nick Broomsfield being the film maker had an opportunity to interview Aileen in person which was shown like an old footage (archival footage) and we audience can tell that she is mentally ill and not in the right state of mind hence why she kills people. I'd say that this documentary is objective to an extent as we actually get information and we hear from both sides, the government and the criminal herself. However, the documentary being based on her and I think the motive was to make the audience feel a certain way about her as well as the fact that this documentary is basically Broomsfield's response. So we are not meant to like her.


The reflexive documentary mode allows the audience to know that is actually a documentary all throughout by the film maker showing the 'behind the scenes' and making the audience opinions matter. An example of a documentary which implemented this mode is called "Stories we tell" which was actually about stories we do tell during our life time. This meant the documentary consisted of this family's old footages and baby pictures in order to reflect on them. This is very effective on audiences as it sort of indicates that everything stated is true and emphasises on actually telling a story; especially the voice-overs used over the old pictures and clips which described the events and what is happening in the picture/s. Soundtracks were also effective as they synchronised/ matched what was going on. For example, there was sound music in scenes where emotions are meant to be felt.

The performative documentary mode is normally based on someones personal experience usually the film maker; you can say that it is subjective as the audiences are being forced to believe something and calls for an emotional response that acknowledges an understanding events and occurences. The main purpose of documentaries like this is to educate the audience (example of film gratification). An example of performative documentary is Catfish which is about people who have been in relationships with the wrong people or the person they thought it was but it wasn't. This had happened to Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, the film makers. If you have a look at the documentary, the commentary comes from the two men and then they show the people who are being catfished. A hand held camera is used when going to meet the person who is catfishing this is noticeable by the jerkiness of the camera. It can be concluded that the camera is hidden too as when they do meet the 'pretenders' they don't want them to know they're being filmed just for that realism and to make the audience believe that they are actually bad people and the whole idea is wrong.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Examples of issues

Accuracy is all about a story being told and taken from a source reliability, preciseness and how trustworthy it is. This can be tested by the use of facts as well as evidence. If there is none of that the story/information might be inaccurate. For example, BBC news could be counted as a reliable source as the government wouldn't possibly lie on live tv right? There was a report named " Cameron warns leaving EU is a "step into the dark" which can be considered as being accurate as David Cameron was actually present in the studio and was being asked questions about his proposition. Also, there were facts being raised on why we shouldn't leave the EU as well as other politicians views and quotes being mentioned.

Balance is when there's equal perspective from both parties. So the audience understands both side of the argument otherwise the story would be biased. An example of this is very well shown on "The Jeremy Kyle Show", one episode where this was shown was called "Did my murdered son have a baby?". The mum who arose the issue had an equal amount of time to speak the same way the son had an equal amount of time to answer the questions and speak in general. This allows audiences to absorb both sides and both arguments then they can decide what side to be on.

Impartiality is the common idea of staying neutral and taking no sides. This is what presenters tend to do in order to avoid conflict and controversy. An example of a presenter that does this is Reggie Yates, this was well shown in a documentary of his called " The state of man". Reggie Yates listened and found out reasons why men activists exist as well as what they actually are and what they do. He didn't support them nor against them even though he questioned some of their movements and actions.  You could tell by the mellow tone that he kept throughout the whole documentary and close ups which allows audience to see his reactions to certain things and the questioning of things as well as understanding.

Objectivity is when personal belief/opinions do not influence how a story is told. This also about having a balance and not forcing what side to be on. For example, "Question time" is a show which doesn't influence how stories are told and how questions are answered. This is done by one party raising and a question, it could be the government side or the audience and the other party is expected to answer the question. Both parties can continue to talk about the question and then you can move on to the next question. Question time also has a impartial "middle man" which means he's on neither side and allows both side to talk but he can question issues and matters.

Opinion\ Subjective (opinionated) is when the story is one sided and most definitely influences the viewer. "Beaten by my boyfriend" is definitely opinionated as Stacey Dooley, the reporter, clearly shows that by showing emotions show by close ups and voiceovers which explains how she feels about matters. In this documentary, Stacey Dooley only shows females who have experienced domestic abuse by their boyfriends and obvious purpose is to say that it is bad and to raise awareness etc. This is the same as subjectivity. Most documentaries tend to be subjective if they're to do with crimes in order to educate the viewers (gratification) and to inform them of the issues or matter.

Being Biased i would say is the same as being opinionated and subjective as it's when a story is one-sided. "Bowling for Columbine clip" is clearly anti-guns and not supporting America's open law of carrying weapons for protection making them highly accessible. This was clearly shown with long and medium shots of protestors carrying boards and shouting  and there was no evidence or view/speech from the boys who actually committed the crime.   

Representation is very important when telling a story as it sort of impacts how the audience absorbs the story and helps with picking sides. Fo example, a documentary on the "teenage gangs of South London" the teenage gangs were represented as being bad as scary as intimidating pictures were shown. On the other hand, the police were represented as the good people as it was their documentary and were portrayed as trying to help society.

Access issues is to do with the permission given when creating a documentary. To make sure you have the right/correct information and failure to actually have permission and access can lead to breaking the law. For example, if Reggie Yates didn't have permission to film the meeting of the male extremist meetings we as the audience wouldn't have an insight of what they actually do and how they gain their motivation or where the belief and idea comes from making the documentary incomplete and pointless. Also, being given permission to film the meeting will not get him fined or in trouble.

Privacy in documentaries occurs when someone or possibly an interviewee decides and prefers not to say/something. For example, in most murder cases and gang documentaries witnesses hide their faces so sometimes they're blurred or they get an actor to act in place of them just to keep that privacy. This is vital when it comes to being a witness as it is dangerous and people can end up getting attacked later on or hurt.