one of my most talented friends, damian, is one of the owners of kineto pictures in SL. (you might remember them from here) they have a great company and a great blog. I read a post on their blog today about documentary film making and I thought it was a nice description for still documentaries as well...so I borrowed a bit of their post, but go check out their blog for the full post.
A lot of people may think that a documentary style automatically includes a handheld camera and shaky framing. And although those aspects are often used in documentaries, they’re not really what define them. We like to think that what makes a documentary interesting, is how a story is told, without necessarily a storyteller. Everything is presented factually with real people and real events. If this is done correctly, the filmmaker is able to present the opportunity for the viewer to have a personal connection with what is going on without the guise of any fiction. It also gives the cameraman, the editor, and the director a unique chance to create a narrative for a real-life story that has possibly never been told. Have you ever heard of Steven Wiebe, the title holder for the second highest score on Donkey Kong? Or what about Little Edie, the turbaned, reclusive social-climber from the Hamptons? What’s most fascinating about documentaries and the documentary style, is that the ordinary is able to become extraordinary. Using this kind of style makes every pan, angle, and cut have a purpose in order to visually create meaning. Suddenly the shaky camera isn’t an awaiting headache for the viewer, but the proof that they’re invited along for the ride. I guess what I’m trying to say is, with our business, it’s personal.