Codes and Conventions

Documentary Genre


All of the themes in the documentaries which I have been analysing have all been suited to the documentary which is being represented for example the “superpower for hire”, a documentary which I have analysed shows the themes of the PMC very well throughout using things like sound, whether it be diegetic or non diegetic and by also using the mise-en-scene.


In the documentaries the narrative structure appears to be one which is very similar as in the documentaries I analysed the major narrative structures which were used are Circular narrative and single strand. Both of these structures are used in basically all of the documentaries.


In all of the documentaries the camerawork is relatively similar. The reason for is this is that in the documentaries the shots use the most are things like a long shot, which is the establishing shot, it will set the scene for the documentary this is a shot used widely win documentaries also this shot was quite popular in the Rise of the roman empire, as we see it being used far more often, as in this documentary there are a lot of things being used like battle sense and what not. Another shot which is used a lot is the close up shot. This shot is used very often in documentaries when there is a person being interviewed about what is currently going for example in the documentaries like in super size me the narrator in this is constantly giving the audience information and when he is doing this he is often being interviewed by .


In the documentaries I have been analysing I notice that in most of these the mise-en-scene is a large part of the documentary as it can be something which can keep the viewer entertained for example documentaries which have interviews which are shot perhaps on set in a studio rather than in the field this means that they may include a green screen behind them which may be showing either a still background or a moving image. Another thing which is a big focus of the mise-en-scene is the code of attire. The code of attire which is used in documentaries is there for some of the same reasons as the chroma key.


In the different documentaries the sound I analysed varies quite a lot for example in all the documentaries they use sound in all different ways but also in the same ways at times. For example they use diegetic sound for the interviews at times but then in others we will be shown a clip or image and the interview will be going on behind that. The diegetic sound can also be good for the ambient sound for example in the PMC documentary we here things like... In the background but so do all of the people in the documentary, it directly interacts with the people taking place in the documentary. The non diegetic sound also plays quite a large role for example in the documentaries the narrator plays a major role and is also used very often in most of the documentaries I have analysed.


in the documentaries that I have been analysing they all have very similar patterns as most if not all of the documentaries include mostly run of the mill cuts. A few of the documentaries are using things like fade but throughout, in the editing, there isn't much variation in each documentary.


Throughout all of the documentaries I have even analysing I have noticed that most of the documentaries I have analysed have use some archive footage somewhere. For example, in the superpower for hire documentary we see the use of archive material used a number of times one time it was use it was in a few times in the forms of images which we're displayed a few times throughout.


In all of the documentaries we see the use of graphics throughout when it is introducing people/places which are going to be taking part in the documentary. for example we see at the very beginning of Superpower for Hire we see the use of graphics introducing the journalist and the PMC security team member. Also in Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire we see all of the different historians being introduced through the use of graphics. So a clear convention that runs through most documentaries is use use of graphics for introducing people.