Ethics of audio in documentaries - Page 5 at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Documentary Techniques

Documentary Techniques
-- Discuss issues facing documentary production.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 19th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #61
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Huddersfield, UK
Posts: 406
Sound Actuality

A very interesting thread!

My angle is that documentary is not by definition necessarily journalistic (that seems to have crept in as the norm during the 1950s). The inventor of the term, Grierson, described it as the 'creative treatment of actuality' which is a very helpful precept. If you watch early docs they have no problem with all sorts of artifice - the silent 'Man with a Movie Camera' (Vertov) and 'Berlin: A City Symphony' (Ruttman) are my benchmarks still. I use all types of creative sound treatment as ultimately I think sound is more evocative and affective than the images so consequently concentrate on non-synchronous sound (but still diegetic). I like to promote the idea that there is nothing wrong with the concentrating on aesthetics in documentary and a poetic approach to this. It isn't journalism or making any attempt to convey an ultimate truth but a subjective impression of actuality.

Funnily enough despite using all kinds of sound manipulation I very rarely actually 'fake' sounds in any way (that just reminds me of why I hate so many movies - the highly exaggerated hyper-reality Hollywood approach to sound and image is horrible) - why not use a different approach to practical problems like poor sound such as a 'metaphorical' sound or even silence!!
Geoffrey Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #62
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 260
If you are interested in the ethics of artifice/re-enactment in doc making - check out Errol Morris' blog posts at
Doug Bennett is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Documentary Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:58 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network