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What is a documentary film?
A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to
document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of
instruction or maintaining a historical record.
"Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a
cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is
continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.
Quotes from -

What is a documentary film?
In general documentary films are based on real life and include events
as they happened or often as they occur. For example, a movie about
World War II might feature actors portraying soldiers, real or fictional,
in the war, recreating certain battles or events. Or a contrasted way is
to primarily feature news reel footage of actual fighting, with
commentary from experts and veterans who were in the war.
Documentary is focusing on the reality above drama or a fictional
Documentarys a typically cheaper to produce than commercial films
Voice-overs are typically used in documentarys
Documentarys often focus on one social issue or field
Documentarys are increasingly become more and more popular and
are featured much more as television shows such as the Lonely
Planet series.
Target audience for documentary?
Both genders
People who have specific subject matter/person
Across many generations in the bracket of 20 70

The Narrative
A journey, seeing how one thing leads to another
Behind the scenes seeing more into someone/somethings personal
Character types?
Others which influence the main focus i.e. family members, co-
workers, mentors etc
Main focus of the documentary i.e. person/celebrity?

Its important to remember the majority of these characters arent
acting to be anyone else other than themselves.
Pros and Cons of a short film
Pros Can be filled with interesting/useful information but confined
into a small time frame meaning all of the waffle is cut.
Documentary fits into short film target market (refer to blog post of
my questionnaire)

Cons Lack of background may leave audience feeling confused and
Cant fit all information there is because of short time frame
Examples of documentary short films
A Man who Delivers Jamie Jessett
The Record Breaker - Brian McGinn
Example of documentary feature films
Bears - Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
Searching for Sugar Man - Malik Bendjelloul
Catfish - Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman