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Codes and conventions

Dante Jackson
Actuality footage Vox-pop voice of Personal POV


Codes and

music Expert
Voiceover- off- static camera,
screen mes en scene
Presenter- onscreen binary
Credits opposites
Codes and conventions- codes are systems of sign which create meaning, codes are divided into two categories
technical and symbolic. Technical codes are all the ways in which equipment placing, shots, angles, text, music
come together to tell the story in a piece of media weather it be text, audio or film etc.
Actuality footage- real events
Archival footage- footage not taken by the film crew usually used from the past
Reconstruction- re-enacting past event explained in an interview etc.
Participation- when presenter gets involved with the documentary, giving his opinion on the subject or matter, or
appears in the scene but doesn't actually take part in the event, for example eating.
Expert interview - people who know about the subject you are documenting usually with an expert shot (expert in
left or right of the screen looking into the empty space where the audience or presenter should be) be sure to
capture the scene in a professional manner with the expert traditional work clothes
Statistics- facts and statistics are used to emphasis a point in a documentary or matter uses to support a claim for
example- 40% of the world population is addicted to their mobile phones to support an opinion that mobile
phone addiction is getting worse.
Background footage- this is used to fill a gap where there is a voice over often used as filler for example- a drone
clips used as a cinematic as a transition from one part of the documentary.
Vox-pop this is the voice of public this shot code is asking the public their opinion on a matter in a public
location, often standing up.
Binary opposites- this will be used for an objective documentary that wants to get both sides of the argument for
example good vs bad Levi Strauss
Voice over- a piece of narration in a film or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker
Music- music played in background related to the documentary mood.
Location- place of filming should fit the style of questions asked or the topic of documentary
Personal POV when the filmmaker/presenter gives their opinion on the matter.
What would I include in my
Re-enactment/reconstruction- I would like to use re-enactment to make the documentary more
enjoyable for my audience rather than constant shots of presenting or background footage, also a
visual aid is better when trying to get a point across in my opinion.
Archival footage- I would like to include archival footage if I choose to create a documentary
comparing two different times for example how technology has change etc.
Vox-pop I would like to include a vox-pop to get opinions from the general public and an outsider
of the documentary to give binary opposites if available.
Expert interview, facts and statistics- I think it would be nice to show correlation with an expert
interview and facts and statistics to emphasize the point I am trying to make and get opinions from
someone with a lot more experience in the matter I am looking into.
Background footage and montage- I like the idea of using cinematics in a documentary to make the
transition from scene to scene much more smoother and I like montages because if they are mixed
with music at the right pace will be really enticing to get the audience watching.
Voice over- I like the idea of having a voice over in my documentary to include more background
footage as I prefer visual aid, for example I could have an article and voice over what's included to
summaries it and pull out the certain facts I need, I also think It will be a bit repetitive if I constantly
use an on screen presenter so I would like to do a mix of the two to stop the audience getting
Participation and personal POV- I would like to use the idea the presenter participating in the
documentary and having their own person POV on the subject because it creates meaning behind
the documentary and will make the audience connect more to the presenter if the subject of the
documentary in connected to them personally. example at the bottom of this post