Experimental Documentary: from the script to the video blog

Critical analysis over the processes of production and reception of experimental documentaries.

"Script" by Brazilian artist Veridiana Zurita

The video installation Script, by Brazilian artist Veridiana Zurita, was featured in Possible Futures (October 10-26th, 2013), the last activity of VOORUIT100, a six- month celebration for the 100th anniversary of Vooruit, the historic building in the city of Ghent (Belgium), currently used as a music venue, cafeteria and arts centre.

Script explores the relations between two women, a mother and a daughter. The daughter is Zurita and her mother is a psychoanalyst, based in Sao Paolo (Brazil).

The project is based in the meeting of these two women during two weeks, when they both recorded themselves on video while playing their social, familiar and affective roles, exploring themselves and the relation to the other.

The meeting was recorded on video. In this video, fictional scenes where mother and daughter recreate the role of the ‘other’ appear together with the rest of the video, that tries to document their real life together and the relations established with each other. The recreated and real situations are not formally distinguished. These distinctions are, nonetheless inferred and determined by, for example, little elements of the scene that change, such as the decoration of the room where action takes place. For instance, the photo portrait in the living room changes when the mother and daughter exchange their roles and play to conduct their reactions as the ‘other’. However, the viewer has to distinguish and decide what is truthful of what is not on the video. Indeed, the distinction can perfectly pass unnoticed and, furthermore, it plays against the standard characteristics of a video documentary.

These characteristics, as will be discussed later, are common in most of the examples taken into consideration later on this paper. Briefly, it refers to the preconception of taking the images that appear on a documentary as real situations merely exposed in a video format.

In the publication Production Process as a Site of Critique. Ethnographic Research into the Mediated Interactions during (Documentary) Film Productions, by Belgian researcher An Van Dienderen, the author critically analyses the relations produced between the ‘author’, the ‘other’ and the ‘viewer’ in visual representations. The relations are seen as plural positions, related to one another through several aspects of the medium, such as recording, editing and screening. In order to understand a visual message, Van Dienderen considers is necessary to take the medium (audiovisual) into account, understanding its configuration.

Van Dienderen considers that the analysis of documentary images demonstrates that the viewer is persuaded to interpret the images they perceive as ‘real’ through narratives, manipulated contexts and the processes of occultation, selection or intrusion of images. Van Dienderen defines the moment of filming as some sort of performance, “one in which not only the people in front of but also those behind the camera played along”. This research proposes to analyse the production process of a documentary not under the concepts of reality, authenticity or faithful representation but, instead, analysing the organizational, structural, interrelational and personality-linked interactions that take during the production process and determine the flow between fact and fiction.

The video installation by Veridiana Zurita, Script, was conceptualized after ten hours of video footage, recorded during the two-weeks meeting between Zurita and her mother according to the information provided in the website of Vooruit. From this raw material, Zurita ideated the video installation at Vooruit as follows:

The installation first shows a video recreating a word processor, where the artist, Zurita, introduces the situation and the main characters (she and her mother). As the video goes on, Zurita edits and rewrites her own text, highlighted on red the added texts and crossing out the rejected text, as copied here:

In Script I will reconstruct a meeting with my mother. A psychoanalyst, A 57 years old Brazilian, married, that after changing from Jung to Freud retired after 35 years of teaching and practicing psychoanalysis blended for a while in the intellectual world melting in social movements (Feminism, socialism, etc.) became Catholic and discovered the pleasures of taking care of the house and nowadays is a quiet Catholic housewife.

Analysing, critically, the self correction of a script, as presented in the first part of the video installation, it could be interpreted as a demonstration of the editability and subjectivity of a script, about the relevance of the process of writing and editing the script which, according to Van Dienderen’s research, is considered even more important than the final cut of the text. On this process, a real situation is shown in a certain way or another according to the interests of the ‘author’ – in this case, Veridiana Zurita – and the ‘author’ is able to highlight or hide information according to the preferred interpretation ‘author’ intends on the ‘viewer’.

Following this initial introduction, the second part of the video installation presented two different cuts, taken from the original ten hours of video recording, that were projected one after the other, on a loop, without a formal convention of the filmmaking that inferred a start of ending. There were no introductory or final credits, for example, what challenges the standard characteristics of documentary.

    • The first cut of the film, about 30 minutes long, is introduced by the title ‘edited by the daughter’. One of the first scenes involves the mother and the daughter in the hair salon, a situation that the mother manifestly considers intimate, uncomfortable to film. Later on, mother and daughter play and exchange roles, in a scene that recreate a psychoanalyst season.Following, mother and daughter, alone and separately, talk to the camera, directly, analysing her and the other. Finally, the two protagonists appear talking in an intimate place, the bed, trying to fit together in a same image, on the same frame of the video recording.
  • The second film, titled ‘edited by the mother(not available), is about 20 minutes long and starts with the mother and daughter self analysing themselves in a cafeteria, it’s followed by other takes from scenes we’ve already seen in the first film – talking to the camera and recreating the psychoanalyst session – and day-to-day activities like the two protagonists watching TV in the sofa.

The integrated result consists on two videos mixing the documentation of a real situation – relation between a mother and daughter – combined, arbitrarily, with intended fictional situations where the mother and daughter exchange the roles of the ‘other’. This recreation plays and challenges the relation between “the author” (Zurita), “the other” (the mother) and “the viewer” (the spectator) in a last term, who is invited to interpret the images, to make a personal reading of the video, on a more open way that what used to be on a standard documentary.

Taking these two cuts into a critical analysis, the distinction seems to dissipate. The two versions differ for the portions of the filmed material that were used but the message is quite similar. Taking into account what Van Dienderen considered on his publication, the analysis of these images demonstrates that the viewer is persuaded to interpret all the images, perceived as ‘real’, through processes of occultation, selection or intrusion of images, both ‘real’ and recreated. These manipulation is greater manifested by presenting two cuts from the same raw video material. The points of view of daughter and mother are not clearly exposed and distinct, the lack of a greater distinction allows the viewer to a more open interpretation of the images, framing the dissimilar points of view on matters of life treated in the film (family relations, the ‘self’ and the other’, etc.).

Moreover, taking into consideration the visual strategies of the documentary by Veridiana Zurita, there are characteristics of the filmmaking process that this video challenges, interacts and experiments with as briefly mentioned already.

When trying to categorize this film within a genre, the one that suits it better is the documentary and, to be more specific, experimental documentary. As described, these video challenges the basic characteristics of a standard documentary. For instance, the recreation of fictional situations presented on a ‘realistic’ overview. According to the Oxford University dictionary, documentary is a genre that involves “real events” and provides a “factual report” about a subject or issue. Therefore, criticism can be raised that this films by Zurita and her mother, shows several fictional situations, where facts are not reported but recreated – again, the psychoanalyst session – but presented with no distinction from “real events”, the whole report can easily be (wrongly) considered as “factual”.

The fictional or recreated situations of the video by Zurita are presented and combined with situations intended to be a clear reflection of real events and, in this case, a real relation between the mother and daughter. But the whole, fact and fiction, is presented under the same umbrella of a factual format, the documentary.

The non-distinction between the real and the fictional situations on these videos probably responds to the actual intention of the artist, Zurita, to remain unclear, to allow open interpretations to the viewer, who has to find by its own means the balance that the documentary presents in the flow between fact and fiction.

Moreover, taking into consideration the technical characteristics of this film, we can clearly consider it non-professional film work. It is demonstrated by the poor shot planning, the low sound quality and, generally speaking, the overview look of the film is closer to the aesthetics of a home domestic video rather than to the look of a professional documentary film.

The video is recorded with a home video camera; not external sound recording or special lighting is used, neither. There is a third person that helps recording some moments of the film and intervenes only in one scene talking to the mother – it can be inferred that is the daughter’s partner – but, except for that, only the mother and daughter are involved in the execution of the film, in front and behind the camera, and also in the edition of the two versions we described previously.

Filmmaking techniques and language can only be intuited in certain moments. For example, in the scene where the mother enters the building and goes to the apartment using the lift, the successive stringing of acts intuits the possibility of a planned intention to film a long take, technique that has being mastered in films like Rope (1948), by Alfred Hitchcock. However, the presumption of this technique can only be done by a ‘viewer’ that is already familiar with such filmmaking techniques, who can interpret it this way. Nonetheless, interpretations are possible, it can follow the known filmmaking technique of a long take but it could also be perfectly non-intentioned. For instance, several home, non-professional, videos usually include this long video takes where the camera shows the scene in long takes that last hours, without any cut or shots planning.

The interpretations to this experimental documentary are quite open and, as the viewer might consider the long take previously described as an intention to follow the filmmaking technique and not something merely accidental, it’s possible to interpret and argue that the overall non-professional look of the film is not intended but just a result of the lack of filmmaking knowledge and skills to video edit of the artist, Zurita. However, it’s also possible to theorize about the fact that, intended or not, the home video look of this film accentuates the intimate feeling of a private meeting between a mother and her daughter that it exposes, where they analyse each other and her relation, and that fits well with the general feeling of the film. Taking into account similar family videotapes, where similar intimate situations are recorded, a video not intended to be part of a public video installation, it would have a similar look than these two videos from Script.

Related to this need of a family to record their intimate situations on film or video, there are good example that could be taken into account to analyse the need of society to film their private sphere: Capturing the Friedmans is a documentary feature directed by Andrew Jarecki. It focuses on the legal case of Arnold Friedman, accused of pederasty on 1980s. This documentary follows more the standard characteristics of a documentary: it’s based in documented facts and supported by interviews to the real protagonists and archive images. Big portions of these archive images are the domestic films of this upper middle class family. The Friedmans family had a profound tendency to film their private life shamelessly. The naturalness faced with the legal process involving the family and the way they film it is one of the most shocking aspects of this documentary.

Back to Script, the video installation and the documentaries by Brazilian artist Veridiana Zurita, there are more filmmaking rules she challenges. As previously argued, the lack of a soundtrack or an external narrator play with more possible open interpretations, as there is no guidance to the viewers, except from the previous introductory text, and they can make their own open interpretations.

The lack of a background soundtrack is not a severe inconvenient, it helps to focus the attention of the audience in the dialogues of the mother and daughter. But an external narrator, or maybe some other kind of formal distinction between the real and the fictional situations that mother and daughter recreate, is missed as it may help the audience to understand and make more accurate sense of the film content.

In Practical Considerations of the “Unreliable” Narrator in Documentary Films, American professor John W. Donovan refers on its conclusion to the defenders of cinema verité movements, who rejected the use of narrators, considered an unreliable resource of the filmmaking techniques. This isn’t the only characteristic from cinema verité theories that we can infer in Zurita’s work.

Script plays with what is real and what is not, what is scripted and what isn’t. For instance, how much real or unreal is the reality when it is mediated, as recorded by a video camera? At certain point in one of the videos, the mother says to her daughter “You’re someone else shooting”, exposing the lack of truthfulness of what is filmed. Even without fictional acted situations, we cannot argue that what it’s seen on the film is a truthful reflection of reality: as the film is edited, portions of the “reality” are rejected or censored and, however, as the mum says, no one acts the same way when a camera is in front of them, people tries to hide what they don’t want to be shown. The mum doesn’t want to be filmed in private situations, like the hair salon: “Where there is mysterious, there is truth”, she says.

To complement the analysis of Zurita’s experimental documentary, there are other similar (and previous) video projects that could be taken into consideration. These are examples of latest evolutions in the production of video projects that, not directly, influenced the global trends that led to experimental documentaries and other audiovisual formats in the same line as the video produced by Zurita.

Efecte Mirall was an innovative television format produced by Televisió de Catalunya, the Catalan public broadcasting company, and broadcasted in three seasons, from 2005 to 2007. The producers of this TV-documentary show gave domestic video cameras for about two weeks to youths (first season), families (second season) and adults on their thirties (third season) and produced over ten episodes per season with this material. Each episode was dedicated to a matter that was common in all the ‘authors’ (family, work, housing…), conveyed as a portrait of the Catalan society in these different aspects.

This project had a great acceptance from the audience and awards on international television festivals, like The Maeda Prize at the 32th Japan Prize International. Technically, the producers of the show highlight the option of having displays of the video cameras able rotated 360 degrees, so the person filmed could the frame where it was filmed at the same time. This technological innovation was introduced quite recently in the market and allowed “the mirror effect” (translation of the title for this TV-show), which gave closeness and authenticity to the footage and exclude the need of media professionals behind the camera. Veridiana Zurita and her mother used the same “mirror effect” on their Script.

The main difference between Efecte Mirall and Script is that, on the first case, media professionals are involved in the edition process of the original footage, shaping it according to the standard characteristics of television industry. We can consider, consequently, that there is an intermediate figure that controls the process of production, edition – occultation, selection or intrusion of images – between the figures of “the authors” (who film their lives) and “the viewers” who received these messages in a standardized television format. Script challenges this in a more experimental way, as described previously.

Talking about the truthfulness of the situations shown on Script, their ‘factual’ nature and the unclear combination of real and recreated situations have being already considered. Related to this, there are fiction projects like Ruta 66 which can be taken into consideration. This TV-series describes the story of David and Anna, brother and sister, who travel to the United States on Christmas holidays for a road trip across Route 66, from Chicago to California.

Even the episodes are certainly presented in a ‘factual’ format similar to the one used on Script, in the case of Ruta 66 it is a fictional story. David and Anna are, respectively, the actor Sergi Cervera and actress Sara Miquel, but the way the story is told doesn’t differ in many ways from the video tape of a family trip or the “mirror effect” previously described.

On Script the recreated situations alert the viewer that not everything on Zurita’s film might be non-scripted. On Ruta 66 there are flashback sequences that show the two main characters with their father, these are interpreted as a merely fictional technique and categorize the whole as a fiction. However, there are more characteristics that categorize Ruta 66 as fiction: initial and ending credits, standard television video quality, etc. Again, in matters of these aspects of fiction or non-fiction, Script remains unclear and experiments with open interpretations.

Finally, the emergence of all this new video projects that provide new ways of production and interpretation of video images can be aligned with the establishment of a new figure, the video blogger, made popular especially from video streaming platforms on Internet such as YouTube or blip.tv, among others.

Video bloggers are “authors” media creators, professional and non-professional, who produce autonomously videos (usually no longer than 10 minutes) where they share their life, hobbies or interests. As “authors”, video bloggers create an online identity that highlights aspects of their identity and hides others.

On its origins, it used to be a merely recreational activity, a mode of expression, but for many of this video bloggers, it has become a mode of living. Especially among video bloggers using YouTube (also referred to as youtubers) providing weekly or even daily video content to their channel has shift to a way to make a living, as they get money from advertisement shown previously to their videos. Some have even being reclaimed by brands to test and promote new products. These news ways of monetization challenge the standard process of video production and distribution that regulate media industries previously to the irruption of Internet.

Among the advantages of video blogging claimed by these new video creators, the independence and freedom of expression claim out, specially. Only relying to a video streaming service provider (YouTube or another) gives these creators the freedom to express themselves in a more freely way. They consider these freedom won’t be accepted in the regular media industry, with more constrains.

Most video bloggers now use their channels to show creative content they produce (music, shortfilms…) but many others, like Zurita and her mother do on Script, mainly share parts of their private life, their intimate feelings. Is important to notice that big portions of these video bloggers are teenagers with their own identities and personas still on process to be defined. Consequently, these videos help individuals to build their identities, just like years ago private (written) diaries, only that on video format and in a more open and expressive way.

Unlike Script, the reaction of viewers to video blogger’s videos is instant and direct. There is certain exhibitionism, but also a need to look for affection or support.

In previous pages, it was discussed how Zurita’s experimental documentary Script experiments with standardized characteristics of this genre. Those video bloggers who document their own reality (facts) on their video channel literally ignore the standard characteristics of documentary: they’re building their own language. The evolution of the “mirror effect” previously considered could be defined as the “webcam effect”: videos recorded with a basic webcam where the protagonist talks directly to the lens (and, to extent, the viewer), appealing to him or her right away.

The common characteristic of the different formats of experimental documentaries taken in consideration previously in this paper, from Script video installation to video bloggers work, is the intention to, somehow, portray society. A documentary, or any other video genre can have the intention of portray society but can also have the intention to influence in society, affect it. Under this idea, Belgian researcher An van Dienderen was involved in the production process of feature film, produced in Brussels as part of a community-based project. From this experience, the article, Performing Urban Collectivity, included in the book Visual Interventions. Studies in Applied Anthropology Series, describes the process of social integration through the production of a feature film.

This community-based art project was conducted with a group of citizens from the suburbs of Brussels, in the immigrant quarter of Anneessens, who had no previous relation or experience with arts or film industries.

The group was known as the Swallows and the whole artistic project, known as The Return of the Swallows, which lasted from 2000 to 2006, was lead by artist and filmmaker Els Dietvorst. According to her biography, Dietvorst focuses her work on communication, collaboration and social conflicts. The human condition, the symbolic prison or the idea of the outsider are some of the recurrent themes on her work and, partly coinciding on time with her work with the Swallows, she was selected by the Belgian Ministry of Culture as a member of the Commission for Arts of the Flemish Ministry of Art (2004-2008).

The main production of the Swallows was the feature film The March, The Burden, The Deser, The Boredom, The Anger, which was released in May 2004, after almost five years on production. The main difference from this to other community-based projects was its focus on negotiating different values and codes of the film, rather than using a pre-scripted film product imposed by the leader of the project.

As described on the official synopsis, the film produced by the Swallows is “about man, humanity and the typical human nature with all its qualities, flaws, agonies and dreams”. Every step on the production was consensual, from the scriptwriting to the distribution of tasks, where the group of the Swallows rotate in almost every task related to the process of filmmaking. Moreover, the fictional roles in the script of the film were partly based on the real members of the group – “on their lives and on their experiences and emotions, but also on their dreams and longings” – and results in a feature (fictional) film that, however, covers many of the different cultural backgrounds than actually coexist in the neighbourhood of Anneessens, in Brussels. The fact that a script is based on real lives raises the issue of the position of the viewer, a personalized ‘viewer’ that interprets images as more ‘verisimilar’.

There is something that every member of the group that produced the film has in common, the leitmotiv of it, and that is a common situation: “they left something behind or are planning to do so”. The everyday ‘struggle for life’ becomes the main theme of this film: “characters that have being on the run and the metamorphosis of becoming someone else or starting a new life in a new place”.

This was a project of visual social intervention that emphasized process as the subject of its analysis. The researching process is what was considered important, rather than the final ‘text’ (the feature film), and this process was of crucial importance in dealing with the way (cultural) identity and visual representation are intertwined on the film. The film itself was not experimental cinema, mainly because the members of the Swallows were more familiarized with ‘mainstream’ or commercial cinema. The collective of the Swallows created a script for the film collectively, although Dietvorst and her co-writer, Orla Barry, coordinated the process and defined the overall type of the film, not to create a non-viewable experimental film. In this film project, the experimentation was in the production of the film, the process, not the final result (the film, itself).

A film presents mediated interactions between the ‘author’, the ‘viewer’ and the ‘other’ and the important analysis was not related to the feature film (the final ‘text’ or product) but attended ethnographically to the process of production, the relationships and identities that were integral to it.

In order to understand and interpret Western cinema is necessary to understand the Central Conflict Theory. Anthropologists needs to work between codes, acting not only as a cultural broker to facilitate the representation of one culture to another on film, but also to protect the local culture through its knowledge of ethics and practices of the filmmaking culture.

The process of filmmaking and audiovisual media has an important potential in the construction of the self and the formation of socialites. Ideological and social forces are manifested and interact at work during the production of a film.

Anyone who ever attended a shooting for a film, shortfilm or music video, for instance, is aware of the multiple social relations and interactions produced during these brief periods of hard work, usually there is some sense of community, of a group of people with a common goal. In a project like The Return of the Swallows there was a group of people without a common tradition, language or relationship between generations. However, they created a community, a tribe that lasted for four years of this production process, and it was based on a sharing of codes and values established by thus living in diversity.

The richness on social relations and interactions is accentuated even more, as their members are inexperienced on the field of filmmaking and, furthermore, come from different and tough social environments or cultural backgrounds. As leader of the group, Els Dietvorst gave a voice to minorities in a collective and integral way. Self-esteem of those involved in the project was empowered.

The article by An van Dienderen highlights that after five years of work, the project of the Swallows helped its members as a self-esteem builder. Some members of the collective found a job after that, others continued producing films. Not all of them continued an artistic career but all coincide that it was a life changing experience.

Van Dienderen considers that, rather than film productions concepts like “reality”, “authenticity”, “fiction” or “faithful representation”, mediated interactions during the production process of the feature film produced by the Swallows were determined by the “flow between fact and fiction”, as the film script is fiction partly based in the real life (facts) of its authors.

In the production process of a film, there is a mediated and variable relationship between “author” and “other”. In this relation, the “viewer” is prefigured according to the idea that the “author” has, on how the film will be viewed.

The audiovisual configuration is a socially elaborated construal, ideologically embedded, and it has certain specific parameters that cannot be ignored, as they constitute the very operational forces of this configuration.

As previously discussed, when analysing Script by Veridiana Zurita, the interpretation of a film can be open or differ from the interpretation intended by the author. One of the reasons for this ‘misinterpretation’ is that images are not critically contextualized, not like written texts are (there are no footnotes or bibliographical references), so there is no clear guidance to interpret a film.

For instance, Zurita’s Script didn’t clearly distinguish between real and recreated situations and the images were more open to diverse interpretations. This is common in most of the experimental cinema and it is at The March, The Burden, The Deser, The Boredom, The Anger, the feature film produced by the Swallows.

Visual media present recognizable and mimetic traces but, in the audiovisual counterpart, positivist assumptions appear harder to combat. However, the idea that image represents something without censorship or manipulation, which is usually related to photojournalism21 for instance, is misleading. Decisions over the frame of the image, the lighting or, ultimately, photo edition and manipulation are still able to largely conduct the interpretation of viewers over an image.

Talking about art projects like The Return of the Swallows, developed as social tools towards integration of different cultural backgrounds, there are many other initiatives where film or any other art discipline is used as a basic tool for matters of integration or social acceptance. These are two:

  • RUIDO Photo is a non-profit civil organisation, based in Barcelona (Spain) and founded in 2005 by a group of photographers, photojournalists, graphic designers and journalists to work, independently and collaboratively, in photography and video projects with a strong social and cultural commitment, “with the clear aim of raising awareness, encouraging reflection and provoking social change,” as their website explains. Their work is being published worldwide and received prestigious awards and recognition such as the Award for Best Photography book of Iberoamérica Picture of the Year International (POYI), Award for Journalism and Human Rights from the Central American University José Simeón Cañas, the Migration Journalism Award of the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union or the Objetivo Abierto Prize from the Agencia EFE. Another significative part of RUIDO Photo are the participatory photography workshops organized, not only in schools or universities but also in more sensitive entities, like prisons. With the assistance of social workers and educators, these workshops have being undertaken in several prisons in the Barcelona area, both in adults and youth centres, working with prisoners that come from multiple cultural backgrounds and are convicted for different offenses.In a related news piece published at LaVanguardia.com on March 28th, 2011, one of the RUIDO photo members, Pau Coll, considers that to teach how to use a photo camera to the prisoners who participate in the workshop is something secondary. The importance, for him, is to teach how the participants can express themselves, their feelings and personal story, through a photographic work that is taken as a mode of expression and self-definition for them. For instance, Jaouad, 23 years old, considers that the practice of sport helped him keeping a good physical condition but also expel negative feelings of anger, hate or stress, while imprisoned. In the workshop, a visual metaphor is suggested to him: he is portrayed with the words of this feelings he expelled, a metaphor that defines his desire to start a new life in six months, when he will be released from prison.
  • Ull, Canvi i Acció is an educational project undertaken for in the high school of Olot, a little town in Catalonia with a high percentage of immigrant students. The experience provides to a group of students a deep immersion on the culture of the origin country from one of the immigrant students, who are also part of the group. The project aims to discover other social, personal, cultural realities from different places in the world guided by students born in the country being visited, putting every member of the group in the shoes of people of their age who left their home country to start a new life in a different cultural reality.In this project, the students cooperate producing a documentary that reflects the experience, the journey of a group of young students to the country of origin of one of their classmates. The documentary is later distributed to schools, high schools and associations around the country, bringing awareness of multiculturalism and other cultural realities.The project gives to the domestic young students the possibility of travelling to a different country, a different culture, and the immigrant students who guide their classmates on their home country share their own culture while better integrating in their new host culture. The production of a documentary makes the students better literate on media literacy, media language and media production techniques but, specially, makes the students more aware of cultural diversity.

EPILOGUE

Several documental photo and video projects aimed to portrait reality have being considered on this paper. There were projects where ‘authors’ portrait reality and delivered it to ‘viewers’ under formats that allow more or less open interpretation, as seen on Script and Efecte Mirall; projects aimed to affect the members involved on the production process, the case of The Swallows, RUIDO Photo participatory photography workshops or Ull, Canvi i Acció documentaries, or projects that seek for new visual strategies on video storytelling.

Considering the research from Van Dienderen, all these projects proposed have in common that images (except for Swallows’ fictional feature film) are produced be perceived as “real” factual representations of reality that would cause and impact on the viewer, bringing awareness of different social and cultural realities, for instance. Finally, another characteristic that these projects have in common is that even more than the final product, the interest in the analysis is on organizational, structural, interrelational or personality-linked interactions produced during the production process. These define, even better than the “final texts” or products, the flow between fact and fiction that the documentary that these projects present.

 


Academic paper written for the course Visual Strategies in Film, Photography and Video at Ghent University (Belgium). December, 2013.

Author: Oriol Salvador

Journalist with a significant experience creating and managing content for web, social media and online video. Exploring the potential of technology and media to deliver information and entertainment to global audiences.

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