What is a documentary?

Documentary story telling to me means the ability to showcase a non fiction story or an item in a way that is informative while at the same time it is interesting and engaging the audience. For a lot of people I think there is this stigma that documentaries are boring because I think it is tough to focus on one particular subject with the intent of revealing everything that it consists of while maintaining the attention of a audience who does not know much about the subject.

The first reading lays out four concise descriptions of the types of filming documentaries, which are made up of interactive,reflexive,observational, and expository. In my experience of watching documentaries most of my favorites are done in either expository or observational, while I think it would be easier to produce a interactive or reflexive documentary.

The second article discusses how the approach for documentaries come in all different shapes, and sizes, and how the approach to a project is just as relevant as the subject. The article then goes on to introduce the art of archival film making and how “archival is a term often used to describe any footage that is that is not filmed specifically for the purposes of the documentary in question”. This definition envelops a wide variety of media usage that  contrives archival film making quite common. What the article gave to me that the author of the documentary has an an abundance of creative canals in order to create his piece.

The final reading was my favorite as it got into an example of how a documentary was created from its inception. This was a good look into the creative mind of the steps it took make a documentary from the initial planning, structuring, processes, all the way to the accepting of it’s reception. I think the most important stake in classifying a documentary is the passion  of the creator to share this thing with the world, and Per Saari says it here, “But  the stories that you see in documentary films are so pure, and so authentic—the good ones, that is. They’re done out of heart and soul. I’m always going to have one toe in the documentary realm,because it’s so passion driven”. Per also adds a good piece of advice regarding the characters involved in the project, “I wanted to make sure that we found people who were going to be honest and who had interesting things to say about my brother, even if they were critical. And I think we did a pretty good job of balancing those things and finding people who had honest and not always easy things to say”.

In the context of these readings I have two ideas what a un-documentary might be, either documenting something that you have no passion for, not something you hate but something which you could not care less about or the documenting of the fallacies of a particular subject encentuating  the falseness of given thing. Or even creating a fictional tale about something making up crazy facts about an event, person, or place, so something that resembles a government funded project.

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