Thursday, January 2, 2014

To Apply Critical Theory To 'Jamie Oliver: The Naked Truth.'

John Grierson once described documentaries as 'the creative treatment of actuality'. My interpretation of Grierson's quote is that the real purpose behind a good documentary should be portraying the truth and reality. From this quote I can infer that if 'real life' is not portrayed in a documentary then the soul purpose of a documentary has not been accomplished. 'Creative treatment' refers to the way reality is portrayed, in a way that is 'thinking-outside-the-box'. Using specific ways to target your audience and portray this 'truth' that would appeal to the people watching. I think the quote 'the creative treatment of actuality' links to my documentary because the argument I am portraying is something that relates to my target audience's reality. In my documentary I have used interviews, these increase the validity of the argument. It furthers the 'actuality' of the documentary. The interviews with the Head Cooks are an example of this, they uncover what it was like when Jamie Oliver's 'Feed Me Better' campaign was in place and how they have been left to 'pick up the pieces'. Their dialogue portrays their 'real life' experience, because this is a first hand account it acts as evidence of this 'actuality' and furthers the argument. I have also included unique clips to entice my audience, I have thought hard about how I would creatively attract my audience and keep them entertained. For example; I have used a taster session, because I think it will appeal to my target audience and further my message.

'Everybody who makes a film is putting their own truth on the screen', this is a quote from Diana Tammes. I think what she is trying to say here is that every documenter has an opinion and this will be shown in the film whether it is hidden or forced. They will also have certain experiences of the subject of the documentary and these positive or negative experiences will be portrayed in their work. For example, if a film maker is making a documentary about Teenage Gangs and has experienced their negative traits in the past, it is likely that the documentary will swing a certain way - it will be negatively based and only portray negative information and facts. However if the documenter had no experience of Gangs and researched them open heartedly the documentary will unlikely be one-sided and will give a well-rounded account of the subject. I think that the Diana Tammes quote links to my documentary Jamie Oliver; the naked truth because I have a clear argument and my own experiences that have shaped my argument it is clear throughout the documentary that I am arguing a particular view. As it is a expository documentary an argument is expected whether it is clear or not, my argument isn't hidden because I wanted to make it clear from the start that the documentary came from a particular angle. I have my own experiences of Jamie Oliver's 'Feed Me Better' campaign because it occurred when I was in secondary school, which makes me a first hand victim of the campaign.

In an Introduction to Documentary (p.168) Bill Nichols said (describing the expository mode) 'images serve a supporting role. They illustrate, illuminate, evoke or act in counterpoint to what is said'. I think Bill Nichols quote means that even though video is the main use in documentaries, using images are still important, they can still support the argument you are enforcing. They can act as evidence to your argument. Image is very important, all images, including that in video, are used to anchor the narration and dialogue for the audience. They act as a visual hook to draw the audience in and help them understand the message the documenter is trying to get across. This quote links to Jamie Oliver: the naked truth because alongside my narration I have included archive footage and original footage to enforce my argument. I have used specific footage so it will further my argument clearly. I have also used photographs to also act as an anchor for my narration but also to give the audience a little background information/profile to help them understand who Jamie Oliver is and what he has achieved. I have used photographs to show my opinion and mock Jamie Oliver which also furthers my argument. I have only captured images that relate to the subject of the film and portray the 'truth' behind my argument.

'Seemingly empty moments have a strange secret beauty. Sometimes images themselves develop their own life, their own mysterious stardom.' This quote is from Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog. I think that this quote means that when making a documentary you should capture every moment you can because when it comes to choose what footage to include many moments at the time may not seem relevant but may be perfect when it comes down to supporting your message. I think it also means that every shot you take does not have to be full of facts and too busy, but that some shots can be simple to make it easier for the audience to take in the information they are receiving and give them time to process it, rather than being bombarded with knowledge they can't take in at once. I also infer from this quote that not all images or footage you use has to be completely pushing your argument into the audiences face. They can be simple. Some images being less forceful than others, allow the audience to pick up on a subtle hint. I think this quote from Grizzly Man links to my documentary because in Jamie Oliver: the naked truth I have used images that are shown in archive footage of Jamie Oliver crying, these hint my argument to the audience in a humorous way, allowing them to realise the indication I have entwined into the image, but also keeping them entertained. I have added photographs of Jamie Oliver portrayed in a way that would be seen to be mocking him. These have a simple subtle way of furthering my argument. Even though I am using a simple way to push my argument they still own their own 'stardom' when enforcing it.
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