Task 1 documentary ideas/ understanding issues to factual programing
For this task I have been asked to look at various different points that should be taking into consideration when making a documentary and those points are Accuracy, Bias, Balance, Representation, Impartially, Access, Objectively, Opinion, and Contact with viewer, Subjectivity and finally privacy.
Accuracy means how accurate and up to date the information you have used in your factual show is. The data that you use must be up to date and come from a reliable source because if you are making a factual show you do not want any miss leading or false information contained in it because you would be lying to your audience. Accuracy in factual shows and movies can be a real problem for the filmmakers because if they do not find the proper information and take the time to research everything the factual show they are making will be lying to the audience. There have been documentary’s such as Jesus camp where the filmmakers where accused of purposely trying to show Christianity in an unfaltering way this means that they tried to create a bias opinion which may not be completely accurate. In the documentary of the man who killed Michael Jackson the filmmakers had to ensure that the doctor of Michael Jackson was shown in the most realist way possibly because they it would be unfair and completely opinionative if the filmmakers accused the doctor of the murder. A way to prevent having false information or in accurate information would be to double-check all of your information so that your information that you find so that you do not give your audience wrong information.
Bias is when you are being one sided this means that you have a very strong belief in something whether if you are in favour it or you feel strongly against it. This would cause a lot of issues in a documentary film because if any of the crew have a bias opinion towards something the interviewee has said then the filmmakers to change the documentary towards their opinion, which would make the documentary false because it is not considering everyone’s opinions. There has been numerous documentary’s about both sides of northern Ireland which are protestant and catholic and a lot of them can be bias because there could be documentaries that support the catholic cause more and other’s that support the protestant cause more and because both sides dislike each other this can cause very bias opinions a way to not be bias would be to not let your own opinion get into the ways of others because you gave to show both sides opinions.
Balance in a documentary means that if you are going to interview people from both sides you would have to give both sides an equal amount of time to answer any questions you give them and also the same amount of interview time this is so that you do not come across as bias because if you interview two people from one side and only one from another it makes it look like you favour one side more than the other. An example of this would be if you the filmmaker has a certain opinion on a subject no matter what it is and you then interview people that have a different opinion than you and give them less time to answer questions than you did when you where interviewing people that had the same opinion as you then your documentary becomes unbalanced and can make you come across bias. A way to avoid being unbalanced is to make sure to interview equal amount of people from both sides and to give them the same amount of time
Representation is the state of being represented, which would be how the filmmakers present there subject to the audience. Some of the issues filmmakers come across is how they deliver their message about their subject without being bias or one sided sometimes filmmakers can use techniques to make the audience believe something different about a person or subject they can do this by citing credible sources because if you are trying to persuade an audience to agree with you would reference a quote or a fact from a reliable source because the audience knows that you are not a reliable source but if they hear a fact from something reliable an expert said. A way to keep representation right would be to make sure that you do not let your own opinion get in the way of making an accurate documentary.
Impartially is when you would have a fair opinion on what both sides are saying and to be fair to them rather than siding with one and being bias or siding with a side for your own benefit. There have been many cases where big corporations and other businesses would pay off documentarists to make a documentary that promotes them and to make the people who don’t agree with them sound like bad guys and this leads to documentaries being bias and one sided and is not giving the other side a fair chance to defend there point. There was a case with a Gaza documentary which broke impartially by making the documentary sound one sided and was not giving any alternative views of what people thought about it. A way to make sure that your documentary is impartially is to make sure that you do not pick a side and make them sound better keep things fair.
Access is the ability to gather information and to make contact with people. There is a documentary called Louis Theroux and the Nazis and the reason that this is an access documentary is the way that Louis gets his information from people because he asks his questions by being quite chatty and jokey but his questions are very serious. The good thing about how Louis talks to the people he is interviewing is that he doesn’t try to anger or upset them even if he doesn’t agree with them because he doesn’t want to be bias. Some of the issues that filmmakers can face are the way that the filmmakers opinions can be different fro the interviewees because it can make the filmmakers sound bias. Ad way to keep access even is to gather a lot of information about the subject from both sides and to make sure that you don’t side with one so that you are fair.
Objectively is when a person is not influenced by their own feelings, prejudice or there own interpretations based on facts and objective opinions. A problem that objectivity can cause in a documentary is that filmmakers can find it hard to maintain a fair hand when they constantly interviewing both sides of a story and because of this they can find it hard not to be persuaded by one of the sides. Many documentaries today have failed to do this even if the documentary is insightful and well made because of the filmmakers prejudice. There are some people that think Michael Moore is a very objective filmmaker because of the way he chooses what information he will include. A way to try and avoid this is to not let yourself be persuaded by a side keep a fair head.
Opinion is a view or a judgement that is formed about something that may not be based on fact or knowledge. Opinions can cause a big problem when filming a documentary because the filmmakers themselves could have a very strong opinion about the topic and there views could interfere with making an accurate and unbiased documentary and they have to be sure that the opinions of others don’t affect the way they think. Also the filmmakers may interview people about the subject and the interviewee may have an opinion that may not be right because that person may not have the correct information about the subject in my own opinion if this happened to me I would try to find someone else to interview because I don’t want to tell them that they are wrong in case I may come across as bias and I also don’t want to keep talking to them because they don’t have the right information so it would make my movie inaccurate. So to avoid inaccurate opinions just move on and find another person to interview.
Contract with viewer
Contract with viewer is when you would have an obligation to the viewer to tell them the truth. This means that when you are making a documentary or doing something like presenting the news that you would make sure that the information you present to the viewers in correct and is also unbiased this is because the viewer has the right to know all the information about the subject. This can cause problems in a documentary film because the filmmakers can present false information to the viewer which you shouldn’t do and also the if the filmmakers have a very strong opinion about the subject they are doing this can lead them to make there documentary bias which they are presenting to the audience and this is wrong because the filmmakers are trying to change the viewers opinion. A way for the filmmakers to avoid this is to make sure that the information they have is correct before they tell the viewer what it is and also to make sure that they keep the documentary fair and unbiased.
Subjectivity is the condition of being a subject such as experiences, feelings, beliefs and wheatear or not you have the power. Subjectivity is used to explain what influences and causes people’s judgments about reality and also truth. An example of subjectivity would be if you where making a documentary about an election and you focused on a particular candidate by doing this you better understand the story of the subject. Subjectivity can cause problems in filmmaking because it can come across as one sided because you are focusing on one particular point or side and you are not getting any information on what the other side thinks. A way to avoid this is to not be too subjective as it causes unbiased opinions and doesn’t seem fair to the other side.
Privacy is people’s personal space it is also being free from being watched by other people. Privacy can cause a big issue in a documentary because the filmmakers have to respect the interviewee’s privacy an example of this would be if an interviewer is asking someone a question and if they don’t want to answer a question he can ask them to leave and if the interviewers don’t leave that is then a breach of the interviewees privacy. There has been cases where the filmmakers of the documentary have used hidden cameras so that they may infiltrate a group by doing this they are breaching the groups privacy because they do not know that they are being filmed and they might not want to be filmed there has been many discussion about how hidden cameras should be used. A way to avoid breaking privacy is to make sure that you don’t film anyone who doesn’t want to be filmed and to make sure that if you do film someone that you have their full permission to do so.
I have found that there are a lot of things that you have to consider when you are4 making a documentary so that you do not make your film bias or inaccurate I also find that to make your film successful you need to consider all of the points above.