News and documentary

Fact and fiction

A television drama about a military engagement was criticized by an army spokesman as being ‘too realistic’. The camerawork style was indistinguishable from news coverage and the army spokesman complained that the audience could easily be confused into thinking they were watching ‘a real event’. ‘The Blair Witch Project’, another piece of fiction, was complimented on its realistic camerawork treatment. The low tech image quality, the nervous unrehearsed hand-held camerawork combined to persuade the audience that they were watching an authentic event.

‘Realistic’ in this usage was achieved by imitating the characteristics of news coverage. ‘The camera surprised by events’ has a number of visual mannerisms ...

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