Early Documentaries:-

I have decided in this category to have a look at two documentary s which where dated pretty close to each other. I wanted to see how much things have developed over a small space of time.

The two I decided to have a look at are:-

  • Nanook of the North (A story of Life and Love in the Arctic)  1922
  • Man with a move camera (Living Russia) 1929


Nanook of the North:-

This is classed as the first feature piece documentary. This is a love story about how two people who worked together thought life and love in the Canadian arctic.

When I heard the name and the year it was published I thought I would see a black and white picture with no sound at all and that’s what I got. It started slow with emotional and dramatic music over the Q cards to explain the story and the starting. After a while we get our first shot of the couple in the arctic. There was no dialogue at all but there was music to set the feeling and emotion to the clips shown as well as Q cards to explain what is going on in each clip.

There were no interviews which I was surprised at, for me a documentary normal has interviews but because of the day and age it was nearly impossible to do any interviews with no sound.  The camera angles where very simple and straight forward very still sets with hardly any movement but this was down to the day and age and there camera equipment still in the early development stages.

For me this was a fly on a wall documentary as we seen the family go though there every day lives without intruding in their lifestyle. For me this was a hard one to watch because of the Q cards and there being no dialogue.

Nanook of the North (1992) – Classic Documentary – YouTube (9Mins watched)


Man with a Movie Camera:-

Man with a movie camera was filmed on real life event and time. It is about a man and his adventure with his camera.

When I started it up the clip the first time it seemed like there wasn’t going to be any music or sound at all but once we got into the 3 and a half minuet mark we started seeing images of a theatre and instruments ready to start to be played. Once we were made clear we were in a theatre the music started to play and went with the clips we were seeing on screen.

This one like the Nanook of the north was also black and white. The music played a key role in both of these documentary it created a feel and the emotion for the film.

I didn’t really get into this one as much as I did Nanook of the North, I personality got lost in what was happing to me I felt like there was no story or no actors, it felt like it was an experimental piece more than a documentary. Although I watched more of this one than I did Nanook of the North.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) – Classic Documentary – YouTube (10Mins 31Secs Watched)


Over in the early documentaries I though there would have been a big change in a short space of time but it turns out there wasn’t any change in equipment at all. They were both filmed in the same way using the music to create mode, without interviews.


Development Documentaries:-

In this section I wanted to choose two that had a bit of distance between them. I wanted to see a massive change from a to b. And two that were complete different from each other. In this section I am trying to work out what style and type of documentary I want to do in later tasks.

The two I decided to do are:-

  • A hard day’s night 1964
  • The thin blue line 1988


A Hard Day’s Night:-

This is a comedy film not really a documentary, it’s about the beetles and how they got on in their life style when they became big.

This is also a black and white film its very old style filming, it opens with the beetles song ‘a hard day’s night’ I found this very cheesy and i didn’t really like that idea. This film reflects on the fame and lifestyle of the beetles.

I didn’t really get into this one; I found it very fake and not really a documentary. Although this one had dialogue while the two I watched before this didn’t so i did like this one because it had dialogue and it showed me how much technology changed over the short space from the other two to this one.

 A Hard Day’s Night(1964) – Part One – YouTube (7Mins Watched)


The Thin Blue Line:-

This is a dramatic documentary; it is about a guy who was giving a life sentence in jail for something he didn’t convict. This documentary is the only one so far that is about an issue that happened.

This is the first one in colour; this shows how much production and equipment has changed over the jump in the years. There is a lot of archived footage that had things to do with the issue raised in the documentary, for example there was an image of the gun used, news paper clipings and sheets showing where the injuries where on the police officer.

There where interviews in this one, unlike the last three where they had no interviews they were more movie based. The interviews are all of the interviewee with a backdrop of which something related to the crime, for example a map behind a police officer interviewed. There was a lot of B-footage and reconstruction, it went with what was spoken about in the interviews.

This one was easy to watch I thought as you knew what it was about but they did the documentary back words and didn’t give too much away. I liked this aspect i would like to try inculpate this into my own documentary not giving to much away but still keeping the viewer interested.

The Thin Blue Line (1988) – Errol Morris – YouTube (Rabbit InRed) (Watched it all)


Recent Variations:-

In this section i will be watching things more recent, seeing how they went about doing it. The older ones where very straight forward and didn’t have much to them. But in this section i expect a lot more like camera movement, lighting and setting.

  • The Race That Shocked the World


The race that Shocked the World:-


  • Archive footage of the races… news story from years ago… still photos of family…. School subject went to…. Carls music videos … girls races.. Archive subjects mother
  • Cutaways of the track and numbers on track… cut away of the subjects and there every days i.e. walking dog….. Scrapbooks with Carls life from letters to pics to news clippings…. Close up waves face emotions show…. Training… Olympic marks relent to subject… stills of the doctor…. Cutaway of lab growth hormone…. Guy standing beside a speed sign…
  • Interview with subject about his drug use b4 race…. About his younger life… with coach his thought wa he went through…. Drug tester who worked in lab… interview with a historian