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The feedback that I received for the
Documentary linking to my genre
was just over 50% for it linking, Red is the amount of
whereas there are about 30% of people who said ‘yes’ to
people disagreeing and saying that my documentary
their not sure whether it links or linking to my genre.
not. I agree with this feedback I’m Whereas the Yellow is
not completely sure if it links to where people who said
the genre. Which is where I would ‘not sure’
improve if I were to go back.
People who gave me
feedback said how I
included enough
content but some
mentioned ways I
could include more.
For example
somebody mentioned
how they think I
should include more b-roll. I completely agreed with this
comment as I don’t believe I did enough work when it came to b-
roll. As I was left with putting up pictures while the narrative was
People overall said yes to it including enough genre, and how the
demonstration in the dark room was good. This demonstrates the
reason why I produced the demonstration to engage the audience,
for people who might not know how to develop film but also to
make it more interesting.

This is the dark room
clip but clearly needed
better lighting, as you
struggle to see the
image properly.

With documentaries there are certain styles such as observational
or performative. I got a mix of responses on the feedback form I
handed out to people. A few said that it ‘does work’ or’ kind of
does’, whereas some said that they couldn’t tell what style it was,
whether it was a interview based or exploitative style. This was
due to me having a lot of interviews and then getting a lot of facts
into it to aim towards the audience. Which is why I can see the
confusion and next time I will aim to make it clearer.
Everyone said that the narrative made sense, but I personally
think that the
narrative could
have been
reordered, as it
didn’t always fit
and make sense.
someone said
about the sound
needing to be
edited as you can’t always hear the voice overs, over the music. I
noticed this when replaying it which I went over and had a go at


When it came to the characters fitting in with the production,
people said that they all fitted their roles well, making it more
convincing for the audience. I felt I needed students who were
studying photography as they have experience with the
photography industry, leading to film photography. I did this as I
think having people who have experience with photography will
know better and can give a better explanation in comparison to
someone who knows nothing about photography.

People said how they think I should include more b-roll to the
documentary and more consistent shots. Someone also
mentioned how I cut off the narrative too soon on some of the
interviews or narrative. I completely agree with this, I realised
that I had cut off some of the narrative too soon.

I took on this feedback and updated the narrative and b-roll to
improve the production. I learnt from my mistakes of cutting
things short and managed to sort it all out eventually.

What you did:
We were given four options for our production, music video,
documentary, advert or a short film. After negotiating and
weighing out the pros and cons of each one, I decided to go with a
documentary on photography. I thought I would create a
challenge for myself, doing a documentary involves a lot of
thought. Personally I felt that photography would be quite an
interesting topic and how it’s changed/developed over the years, I
feel that not many people realise the effect photography has on
the world. Originally I planned to create a photography based
documentary around how much it’s changed and developed over
the years. I gathered up a few people to interview, who either had
experience with photography or were students for a-level
photography. Unfortunately they didn’t all work out how I want
them to or at all, which left me with fewer people to interview and
include for some b-roll.

However this didn’t necessarily go to plan as such, I had so many
ideas planned but in the long run they didn’t work out as well as I
hoped for unfortunately. Due to the specific people that I needed
being unavailable, I was left with less interviews than I planned
to. For example a photographer that I planned to film was unable
to film when I needed her, which left us scheduling a date that
was too late for me.

Who I worked with:
I worked alone for the final project as I felt that I would create a
challenge for myself, helping me define my weaker points. It did
Create more work for myself, in terms of the roles I had to take
upon myself.
It was quite a challenge working on my own, I felt as though I was
really struggling at first due to actors not being available at times,
which I blamed myself for due to having a lot of pressure on
myself. When it came to the camera work and editing I struggled,
which is why I probably would have preferred to work in a pair
with someone when doing a documentary.
In future if I was to do a documentary again then I would consider
hiring people to do the camera work or lighting etc. It would make
it a lot easier in terms of having to multitask, but also due to the
fact I don’t think I’m as good as certain roles as others, which
could bring my grade down.
What my role was:
Due to working alone I did have to act upon all the roles needed,
camera work, lighting, sound and editing. I could have hired
someone but felt that I needed to create a challenge for myself. My
specialism was camera work, as I felt that it was the role I needed
to challenge myself on and needed working on. As in previous
Units I’ve worked on editing or lighting and felt that camera work
was a good one to focus on for a documentary. Doing a
documentary allowed me to demonstrate this skill as I needed to
get the angles right for the interviews, which I think I completed
well. When doing my interviews I only had one camera which
meant I had to move the camera to different positions.
However if I was doing a music video, I probably would have
focused on camera work too as well as editing as it would make
the video a lot more interesting.
Task 3:
My documentary falls into the genre of an exploitative
documentary as it’s based around factual information that I’m
delivering to the audience. I think delivering facts to the audience
through different ways is an interesting way of doing it and it’s
also quite challenging.
When researching I found quite a few documentaries based on
photography, which included the same style. It kept me intrigued
throughout which is why I took upon the idea to place it in my
own documentary. I tried it in many ways which did leave me
with having to go back and re-edit the facts due to the narrating
not being very clear. I tried to present the interviews visually but
also by adding b-roll
over the top of some of
their narrative. This way
it looks more interesting
and keeps the audience
intrigued, rather than
having the visuals
constantly on
The screen.
The screen shots below show how the narrating is being played
whilst b-roll is playing, it keeps it so much more interesting.
Playing my documentary back I think it looks better having done
it this way.

I did encounter an issue with the narrative, during the b-roll in
the dark room it made it quite hard to hear Danielle talking over
the steps of development. I did however sort the sound out but
did end up sounding a little off compared to how it should sound.
People did notice the unbalanced sound when giving me feedback
which did help me fix the issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t solve it
completely and you can still hear the off balance a little bit. It was
one of those technical issues that can’t be fixed, most of it was
down to the microphone I used. In future I will not be using my
microphone again as this has caused me numerous amount of
problems with the sound previously and now for the
My aim of the documentary was to
get across to people how much
photography has
changed/developed throughout
the years, if it’s improved or not
etc. The basis of the documentary will be from film photography
up to smart phones in today’s society. People are starting to use
film photography again, as it’s making an appearance.
I aimed to target 16+ year olds as this age people take more of an
interest in documentaries and the meaning of a career/hobby. In
comparison to how a 6 year old would look at it. However with
16-18 year olds, students are at the ages where they are deciding
what they want to do in terms of education, this would give a
good idea of what photography is about and how it’s changed for
the future. Furthermore the older generations will be targeted at
as well as the younger generations as there are all types of
photographers at any age. In terms of the actual documentary
itself, adults are more likely to watch them, but I think both 16+
would take more of an interest in the specific topic itself.
Whereas if I were to aim it at 10-15 year olds it most probably
wouldn’t be viewed as much as it would if I aim at 16+, the
younger generation wouldn’t have understood the meaning
behind photography as well as adults do.
I found it was successful in terms of aiming for the audience that I
did, as I got quite a lot of feedback which was from the younger
ages rather than the older generation. It’s a lot more successful
when you get a good target audience rather than only having a
few people who watch your product
When it came to researching for the content, I gathered up all the
information I could find, which was suitable and useful for the
This way I had facts to include in my production, which would
back me up throughout. However it was more of a guidance in
terms of filming, it helped with directing me where to start and
what order to present the information in.
I researched from the first years of photography to today’s
photography. How it changed/developed. Also included gathering
up information such as how many people use certain devices to
take photos, to give me a comparison.

Looking back at my content, I think I could of done a lot more, as
with research you can never have enough, in comparison to how
much I’ve done in some of my previous productions, I feel like I
haven’t done as much as I could have.

I aimed to produce the documentary in an expository format, as
my idea was to inform the audience with information about
photography over the years and this was the best way to go.
However when I had finished editing the final draft I noticed that
it did look a bit confusing in terms of the structure and the style
might come across as a mix between expository and an interview
based documentary. Which came up in my survey by someone,
they said that they weren’t sure whether it was an expository or
interview based style.
I was influenced by other documentaries I had seen based on
photography such as McCullin’s, he produced a participatory
style. He was narrating and getting involved as the director
himself, which I found really interesting as it kept me intrigued.
I will be going back over the edit and moving things around to get
a better style to it, as I personally felt it could be a lot better and
the style could be defined better.

Narrative was a key feature that I had to have in my production,
Narrative is what I used to present my information to the
audience. It’s an easy way of doing it and makes a documentary
look more professional. In terms of how much narrative I will use,
it will be a majority of the production. From narrating facts in the
background, to interviews, this way it doesn’t make it look
uninteresting for the audience.

When looking at professionals they do the same with the
narrative, adding in b-roll to the production with narrative
Playing in the background. It looks a lot more professional, for
example with McCullin’s documentary, he uses his own b-roll
from when he was in the war taking photos for the newspaper. I
aimed to take the ideas from it but didn’t really work
unfortunately. I planned to film a photographer and then have b-
roll of her setting up a camera, following onto presenting her still
images. This way it was intriguing the audience but didn’t work
out in the end due to the dates being too late for the deadline.

As I did a documentary I didn’t exactly have ‘characters’ but I used
people for the interviews and b-roll. For the interviews I used two
A-level students, Millie and Danielle, as they both have experience
with photography. Danielle experiments with film photography at
Henley College, which is where I got her to present some b-roll
following her around the dark room. This way I’m following the
subject and getting footage to go over the narrative to make it
look more interesting. Michael is retired but has a lot of
experience with photography and I knew if I interviewed him, I
would get a lot of information from him and again should intrigue
the audience.
I did encounter a problem when it came to filming the
professional photographer, as a lot of the dates that she said, I
was unable to and vice versa. By the time we arranged a date, the
deadline was coming up the next day which wouldn’t have left me
with time to edit unfortunately. This caused a few problems over
all as I was planning on filming b-roll as well as an interview. The
b-roll was really important to my production but things happen, it
was just unfortunate that I didn’t have a backup. However I chose
not to have a backup for Stephanie as I knew her well and she had
a lot of experience from film photography.

I kept the camera on a tripod to prevent it from falling over whilst
filming, but also to keep the camera steady as I wanted to get a
still image. Rather than having my camera moving about.

Technical qualities:
Camera and lighting qualities went well when it came to the
interviews; the focus was clear with a good rule of thirds. I made
sure I did this to gain good framing on the interview.
In the end lighting wasn’t needed as the natural lighting was good
enough to create a clear image on the film. Originally I planned to
use an LED mounted camera light but no longer needed it, I didn’t
want to over expose the image.
Whereas the lighting in the dark room wasn’t as good quality as
the interviews were due to not being allowed certain lights in the
dark room. I did use a little light; however it did create shadows
behind the actor. In future I will make sure that I don’t create so
much shadow and allow myself better lighting if possible.
However I did encounter some technical problems with the sound
qualities as they could have been a lot better and I am going to go
over and improve the sound quality, as the microphone that I was
using didn’t record the sound very well. I filmed my relative’s
interview, which turned out to echo a lot along with the
background being yellow. Which led to me having to re-shoot his
interview but again the microphone wasn’t the best attribute to
my filming. Unfortunately this couldn’t be fixed as I think I was
just unlucky with the microphone that I brought. I will continue to
encounter the problems with the sound and hope to sort them
out, for myself and for the audience.

Wasn’t so good, the
lighting is quite dark
Better and improved
making it hard for the
audience to see.
The lighting in the first images is the quality from one camera,
which I didn’t end up using due to the fact that it wasn’t a good
enough standard. Whereas the second image is fro, another angle
on a different camera which I did use. It showed me that by just
moving the angle of the camera can affect the lighting.
Task 4:
What went well?
Overall I think it went well in terms of the interviews, the focus
was clear along with the sound. I did encounter a problem with
Michael’s interview as the lighting made the image look yellow
whilst the sound was creating an echoe effect. It turned out for the
best reshooting as the lighting came naturally and made a clearer
image. However the sound did go a bit weird again due to the
microphone that I have unfortunately. Again I will be
continuously trying to sort the sound. The B-roll that I gathered in
the dark room turned out well, I managed to capture the
development of film photography in a few easy steps. The lighting
did make it hard to see properly and could only use a little light as
using other LED lights could expose the photographic paper.
Altogether the interviews
were the best outcome of my
documentary, the camera
angles were good, clear and
the sound on most of them
turned out okay.

The locations went well, it suited the style well. The interviews
weren’t anywhere special, they were based in people’s houses.
Whereas the development of film went well when it came to the
location as it was based in a dark room at college. This sets the
scene for the audience and creates a clearer aspect of what I’m
doing for that scene.
I felt that this was my best interview, good rule of thirds used and
the sound came out clear.

How could it have been improved?
In future/next time I will buy a better quality microphone to
create better sound as my microphone didn’t record the best
quality. The narrative could have been improved as I don’t think I
included enough detail, due to my research maybe not being
enough. However the lighting could have been improved on the b-
roll in the dark room, however this wasn’t something that I could
help specifically, due to not being allowed certain lights as it could
expose the photographic paper.
In terms of the structure/layout of the production I could
definitely improve a lot, I don’t feel as though I structured it well
enough leading to it not making as much sense as it should do.
The feedback that I received agreed that the structure could be
better, as people were a little confused with the message.

I think overall the whole message/storyline could have been
better as I don’t believe it was powerful enough and it did create a
big challenge for myself to get to that point.

What would you do differently next time?
Next time I would change the storyline and make sure the
structure is clearer to the audience, as I feel me and the audience
didn’t feel that I was good enough.
Furthermore I would also make sure to get enough b-roll for
whatever I do next time, due to not having enough this time
round. Leading me to go shoot some more which left me falling
behind in my work.

Comparison to existing work:
In comparison to other artist’s work I think I did okay, it wasn’t
the best and I wish I had done things a lot differently. When it
came to the interviews I took inspiration from McCullin’s
documentary on photography. For example he presented himself
well with the camera set up at a rule of thirds angle, this allows
himself to be the main focus in the image. It’s a way of capturing
everything in one shot, as well as making it look professional.
Another element that McCullin involved in his documentary was
having an interview rolling, whilst having parts of the audio from
interviews behind some b-roll. The way that McCullin did this was
really good as he presented footage from when he was in the war
and the images that he captured which gives off a stronger effect
to the audience. To me it makes you realise the impacts it has
when you see realistic images from his time in Vietnam.

This is how he started his interviews, with the rule of thirds angle.

Leading to b-roll with his
narrative playing in the
background. – Very
effective for the audience.
I went from this interview to
having b-roll with Millie’s
narrative in the background to
create a more effective outcome.

I included the same elements within my production, as I felt it
gives off a better effect on the audience. Along with making it
more interesting, if I had put interviews up and not changed them
around with b-roll etc. Then it would become less interesting for
the audience. My aim was to engage the audience with my
production, this was a good way to create that effect.

In future if I were to do this again I would make sure to include a
lot more b-roll that links to the actors themselves rather than just
the subject that I’m focusing on. Linking back to McCullin’s
documentary he uses personal footage from when he was at war,
which creates a better image for the audience, in my opinion it
keeps me more interested. As in my documentary it’s different As
I have b-roll but nothing personal to the actors themselves which
to me doesn’t make it as interesting as existing work that I’ve
viewed and researched.
In the future I think I would be quite suited to the media industry
in certain ways, as I feel that I’m good with adapting to change,
along with time keeping in certain areas. Depending on what it is,
most things I’m good at time keeping, however I just need to
manage my planning well to keep me on track as this is what left
me behind slightly in this unit. Communication will be good for
the future in the media industry as I do communicate well when
needing feedback. When it comes to the communication in
production, I’m always checking emails to make sure I have my
locations and actors ready and planned out.

If I were to work in the media industry I would have to organise
myself a lot better as I’m not always full organised, leaving me
struggling with little bits that needed doing before the filming.
This can easily be fixed as long as I time keep and plan really well,
I think I could suit it well.