A brief history of documentary film making

Documentary Practice is the complex process of creating documentary projects.

A brief history of documentary film making

Nanook of the North poster. Flaherty 's Nanook of the North indocumentary film embraced romanticism ; Flaherty filmed a number of heavily staged romantic films during this time period, often showing how his subjects would have lived years earlier and not how they lived right then.

For instance, in Nanook of the North, Flaherty did not allow his subjects to shoot a walrus with a nearby shotgun, but had them use a harpoon instead. Some of Flaherty's staging, such as building a roofless igloo for interior shots, was done to accommodate the filming technology of the time.

Paramount Pictures tried to repeat the success of Flaherty's Nanook and Moana with two romanticized documentaries, Grass and Changboth directed by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack. The city symphony[ edit ] City symphony films were avant-garde films made during the s to s.

These films were particularly influenced by modern art: L Rees, [17] According to Scott Macdonaldcity symphony film can be located as an intersection between documentary and avant-garde film: Rees suggest to see them as avant-garde films.

Paul Strand,Paris Nothing but the Hours dir. But the most famous city symphony films are Berlin, Symphony of a Great City dir. The film is shot and edited like a visual-poem.

A city symphony film, as the name suggests, is usually based around a major metropolitan city area and seek to capture the lives, events and activities of the city. But most importantly, a city symphony film is like a cine-poem and is shot and edited like a "symphony".

A brief history of documentary film making

In this shot from Man with a Movie CameraMikhail Kaufman acts as a cameraman risking his life in search of the best shot The continental, or realist, tradition focused on humans within human-made environments, and included the so-called "city symphony" films such as Walter Ruttmann 's Berlin, Symphony of a City of which Grierson noted in an article [18] that Berlin represented what a documentary should not beAlberto Cavalcanti 's Rien que les heuresand Dziga Vertov 's Man with a Movie Camera.

These films tend to feature people as products of their environment, and lean towards the avant-garde. Kino-Pravda[ edit ] Dziga Vertov was central to the Soviet Kino-Pravda literally, "cinematic truth" newsreel series of the s. Vertov believed the camera—with its varied lenses, shot-counter shot editing, time-lapse, ability to slow motion, stop motion and fast-motion—could render reality more accurately than the human eye, and made a film philosophy out of it.

Newsreel tradition[ edit ] The newsreel tradition is important in documentary film; newsreels were also sometimes staged but were usually re-enactments of events that had already happened, not attempts to steer events as they were in the process of happening.

For instance, much of the battle footage from the early 20th century was staged; the cameramen would usually arrive on site after a major battle and re-enact scenes to film them. One of the most celebrated and controversial propaganda films is Leni Riefenstahl 's film Triumph of the Willwhich chronicled the Nazi Party Congress and was commissioned by Adolf Hitler.

Frank Capra 's Why We Fight — series was a newsreel series in the United States, commissioned by the government to convince the U. Constance Bennett and her husband Henri de la Falaise produced two feature-length documentaries, Legong: It also created newsreels that were seen by their national governments as legitimate counter-propaganda to the psychological warfare of Nazi Germany orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels.

Conference of "World Union of documentary films" in Warsaw featured famous directors of the era: In Britain, a number of different filmmakers came together under John Grierson. They became known as the Documentary Film Movement. Grierson, Alberto CavalcantiHarry WattBasil Wrightand Humphrey Jennings amongst others succeeded in blending propaganda, information, and education with a more poetic aesthetic approach to documentary.

Their work involved poets such as W. Audencomposers such as Benjamin Brittenand writers such as J. Among the best known films of the movement are Night Mail and Coal Face. Smith was anti-nazi color film [19] [20] [21] created by Stefan Themerson and being both documentary and avant-garde film against war.

It was one of the first anti-nazi films in history. Shooting on location, with smaller crews, would also happen in the French New Wavethe filmmakers taking advantage of advances in technology allowing smaller, handheld cameras and synchronized sound to film events on location as they unfolded.A Brief History of Time is a biographical documentary film about the physicist Stephen Hawking, directed by Errol Morris.

The film employs many of the conventions of later documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, including use of third-person narration and subjective tone, and a focus on an indigenous person as the film's hero.

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A brief history of film; A brief history of film. a UK documentary dubbed With our King and Queen through India was the first example of a film that captured natural colour instead of using. A Brief History of Time attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology, including the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and super-string theory, to the nonspecialist reader.

Its main goal is to give an overview of the subject but, unusual for a popular science book, it /10(31). A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.

This is the history of documentary filmmaking for the last several decades. Currently, the documentaries are used to address so many topics or issues in the society and have actually become viable businesses for some people and filmmakers who have turned to professional filmmakers.

The History of Documentary Film Making | DocumentaryTube