A montage can be a hugely valuable element in a documentary. It can move us quickly through an era, giving us a feel for the “essence” of a time period without having to play it out in longer scenes. Or it can draw attention to the news coverage on a particular topic, raising the profile of the issue and making a point of its importance in the public eye. Or it can highlight the common themes or shared experience of a variety of people, building the case for a particular rhetorical point through repetition of themes, words, and phrases. Regardless of the specific function of the montage you’re building, there is one common denominator: a successful montage exploits patterns. We’ve already explored how finding patterns is a ...
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