In week five we looked into documentary’s, more specifically how to write a script and what some of the aspects of making a good documentary includes.
We started by learning the basic structure of a documentary:
- Why is it happening?
- Character goals/ needs
- Are they meet?
- Resolution of story
Once we looked at the structure of documentary’s I decided to carry out further research so I could get a better understand of how it works in the industry. I decided to watch the channel 4 documentary “Educating Greater Manchester”. I decided on this as it’s entertaining and also makes it very clear as to what structure they use. Such as the start of the 5th episode you find out the main focus of the episode (Head boy and girl election), then you meet the characters and you find out why they want the role, then at the end you learn who won. This replicates the same structure as the one we learnt.
Plus, we also looked at the 5 Channels needed to make documentary’s interesting in order for the audience to continue watching. These channels are:
- Visual image (Photos/ videos)
- Print/ Graphic (Newspaper articles)
- Speech (Opinions)
Once we had learnt about what is needed to make a documentary we were tasked with writing are own script based on an article and documentary we watched.
We decided that we want to start the documentary with footage from the protesting and police beating whilst people who was there talk about their experiences and how it affected them. If there is noise from the footage it will be quietly played in the background.
Explore the 5w’s (What, when, where, why, who and how). Plus there will be two perspectives shown, one from the workers another from the police, meaning the audience see two sides and more drama is made. Clippings from newspapers will be shown and footage of the cotton mills will be shown. Bullet point list of what the workers wanted.
Conclusion along with a powerful message from one of the original workers. Description of the good knock on affects that resulted from the strike and how has things changed. Footage of the workers from the cotton mill shown as sad music plays then fades into modern day sweat shops.
You can see that the script we made is simple but it still includes all of the aspects we needed and wanted to without it being to descriptive, as well as it following the typical documentary structure. The main idea of the documentary was for an audience that may not know about the subject can learn about it but in a way that doesn’t make it come across boring. Which is way we chose for the opening to be footage from the protest in which the police began to beat the protesters, whilst those who were there or know those who were talk about their experiences. The noise from the footage also would also be included to create a more dramatic atmosphere for the documentary as a whole. As the documentary goes more in depth the main facts of the event would be discussed, this meaning the 5w’s. The information would be told by either those that were there or by a narrative voice. Plus we wanted to include two perspectives so the audience could have a greater understanding of what was happening and how it affected both sides, this meaning the police (villain) and the protesters (Hero). Not only will this give the audience a better understanding but it will also create a stronger emotional impact on the audience. The clippings should create a historical feel to the documentary and make it clear of how much of an important issue the protests were. Following this a powerful message would be left with the audience in hopes that they understand how significant it is and was. We chose to follow this up with the footage from then fading in to today’s sweat shops as it should make them want to change how things are today.
Overall I do think the script went well, however I do think we could’ve made it more descriptive that would have meant that there would have been a clearer idea as to how we planned on doing it and what it would look/ feel like. But if I were to use this as one of the final subject’s task to improve for unit 9 then I could see how I would make it into a documentary because the script was much more a plan for us to do so.
- Channel4.com. (2017). Educating Greater Manchester – All 4. [online] Available at: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/educating-greater-manchester [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].