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Writing for Visual Media, 2nd Edition by Anthony Friedmann

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Documentary and Nonfiction Narratives

8

Documentary Comes First

Everybody has seen a documentary. The documentary is an important program format that has roots in photography and painting. If you think about it, the most fundamental urge we have is to record reality. Some twenty-five thousand years ago in the south of France, Cro-Magnon man struggled to document the fauna of his world on the walls of caves. There are no portraits of the painters of those exquisite rock drawings. At the site of Pêch Merle in France, there is, however, a pre-historic signature in the form of an outline of a human hand. The need to record ourselves in the form of an image is central to all cultures, whether on Greek pottery or temple friezes, Roman coins or Egyptian ...

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