Dean Sanders Title: Textual Analysis of Chris Hoys World Record Attempt (BBC 2007) and Science of Cycling

: Lance Armstrong (ITV 2005) These two documentaries, both produced by British broadcasting companies go into the lives of two very famous and successful men in the sport of cycling. The ITV documentary about seven time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong is in my opinion shot in the Expository mode as defined by the 6 modes defined by Bill Nicholls. I say this because the film has many aspects of the description including the use of a voiceover whichis in this case often an American man who is not part of the film world so the voiceover is non diegetic. However at times, Lance Armstrong (the main focus) is seen to act as a narrator. This is similar in the BBC documentary about 10 time world track champion Sir Chris Hoy. The voiceover in this is provided by BBC Spo rt commentator Jill Douglasbut her voice is very rarely heard in comparison to the voice of Chris. The Chris Hoy documentary fits more than one of the documentary modes. It has some aspects of the observational mode and some of the participatory mode. I say this because there is a lot of fly on the wall filming, such as in the conversation scene where Chris is talking to the coaches and the scenes in the Velodrome where Chris is doing training laps and the narrator is very rarely in the pictures, however there is at least one moment in the documentary where this isn t the case. It is hard to establish whether there was any interviews as there was no questions seen to be asked to Chris or the coaches, but there may have been some stimulus provided by the BBC for them to discuss. Similar to the Lance Armstrong film, the Chris Hoy film also uses archive footage of recent events. In terms of shot types used, both of the documentaries use very similar techniques. One very common feature is the use of a panning camera and tracking camera. This is to be expected in a cycling documentary as the cyclists move past the camera very quickly and therefore would go out of shot very quickly if the camera was completely still. It also keeps the riders in focus as they ride past so the focus in the background is very soft. One major difference in the Chris Hoy documentary is the use of handheld cameras. This is not evident in the Lance Armstrong film. I think this makes the documentary seem far more realistic, and backs up the idea that it is a fly on the wall documentary. Also in use in the Lance Armstrong documentary, is the use of various angles. Often when Lance was shown on camera, the camera was at a very low angle which makes him seem like a very big figure and seem much more important, this would be the aim of the maker as the documentary is about him after all. The same technique is then used when they film the crew only this time they use a high angle shot, which makes the crew seem totally inferior compared to Lance. Both documentaries use a wide mix of long shots, mid shots and close ups. These are used to various effects depending on the scene itself, for example a racing scene would be a mid shot, as this is just shows enough to allow the audience to see the focus clearly, but without adding any background to distract the audience for the subject himself. The archive footage used in Lance Armstrong is very biased towards his success too, which backs up the idea of it being an expository mode documentary. They always show pictures of him working hard or winning. It is fairly obvious that he didn t always win so therefore the production is definitely biased towards Lance. This is less so in the Chris Hoy film. This could create a negative image for the Lance Armstrong documentary as the audience may not agree with its opinion on Lance. It does however back up most peoples opinion on Lance himself, which is that he is a very arrogant man. Another commonly used feature in both documentaries is sound. Both use a mix of diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The voiceovers in both of the documentaries are non diegetic and would probably have been added in editing. These are just used to guide the audience. For example, an ill-informed viewer may not understand the reason that Chris Hoy has an oxygen mask on his face whilst training so the voice over saying that the air is far

thinner is very important to the audiences understanding of the documentary. The same to an extent is created by the narrator in the Lance Armstrong documentary. However, this is far less scientific in its description and mostly talks about Lance being a big success and a man who fights pain to win races. This is linked into the camera angles used to film Lance that I mentioned earlier as it makes him out to be the superior figure. Also in both documentaries, is periods where the main subject (Chris and Lance) are both made to be heard very clearly in conversation, whilst the voice of the responder (a team member or coach) can come back as being very muffled in comparison. This again shows the point as to who is the important figure as it were. Both documentaries also use a backing track at some point, and both of similar style with a very low beats per minute, this was simply to create a calm effect. Rather unusually, there is a lot more diegetic sound in the Chris Hoy documentary that was made by a bike itself. I says this is suprising because the chrishoy doc is expected to be mainly about Chris rather that the equipment that he is riding, whereas the Lance Armstrong documentary is more about the equipment and the science side of it. The diegetic sound in the Lance doc, is often provided by crowd noise. Which does make Lance seem like a very successful man, however it doesn t show the other side of the crowds feelings as I mentioned earlier. In terms of the mise-en-scene, both documentaries are very similar again. They both use clothing to emphasise the ability of the two riders. For example, Lance is often shown riding a yellow jersey which is the overall leaders jersey in the Tour de France which he has won 7 times and Chris is very often shown riding in either his national colours of Great Britain or in the rainbow jersey for the Kilo time trial, which is a jersey that signifies that he is the reigning world champion. Only riders who are reining world championships in a particular discipline are allowed to wear this jersey whilst competing in the discipline, which is why when Chris decided to do the 500m TT instead of a Kilo he changed into a different jersey. This is a way adds to the disappointment of him having missed out on the world record that he was aiming for. But either way, both of these jerseys have a huge degree of important and show that a rider is very successful. The coaching teams also wear identical clothing. This is similar to a school uniform and makes a sense of community. For example in the velodrome scene in the Chris Hoy documentary, the entire team including all the other riders are dressed in Team Great Britain clothing made my the same brand. This is the same case with the Lance Armstrong documentary with the whole team, including Lance in many cases dressed in Team Discovery Channel clothing. Another very significant item of clothing that Lance and most of the team are wearing is the yellow LiveSTRONG© wristband. This is a symbol of the fight that Lance had previously gone through and them come back from. The lighting in both documentaries is fairly simple, which is to be expected based on what is being filmed. It is mostly completely natural in both although the opening theme in the Lance Armstrong does discolour some of the archive footage slightly but this may just be because it is for a title sequence. The setting for both is very different however. The Chris Hoy document ary mostly shot from within what appears to be a house and also two different velodromes, one in Manchester and one in Santa Cruz whereas the Lance Armstrong documentary is mostly shot either outdoors on the roads or in a laboratory in a wind tunnel for e xample. This is expected because the title suggests that the documentary will be very scientific.