Chapter 2Documentary Styles

Once you have an idea and have completed basic research, it’s time to think about the stylistic approach you would like to take with your documentary. While it might seem at first glance that all documentaries use similar techniques, there is in fact a wide range of creative approaches documentary filmmakers use to represent the world around them. The elements of each documentary style—whether narration, interviews, archival footage, reenactments, or an on-screen filmmaker—are picked up or rejected by filmmakers for a variety of reasons. Some filmmakers use the same approach their entire careers, while others adapt their approach to fit the subject matter of each film.

Whichever style (or combination of styles) you ...

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