Chapter 5

The Building Blocks

Pictures and words

Thus far, the film-maker’s raw material, what the film-maker is adding piece by piece to complete the work, has been assumed to be sequences of images moving in real time, joined one after another in a long line. It has been taken for granted that these shots will be accompanied by their own synchronous sounds, the natural sounds, that is, which were recorded at the same time as the pictures were captured. Some of these sounds will be effects: doors closing, cars starting, footsteps, telephones. Others will be the human sounds bound up with the images: coughs, yawns, laughs and above all, of course, speech.

Aside from the synchronous sounds, most documentaries have a further parallel element of ...

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