What are the three ways in which documentaries engage audiences? What do you feel is the most important of these three concepts?
The three most important things to a documentary viewer are; Factual information (as most people watch documentaries to learn something), The topic of the documentary (it is likely that people will be more engaged with a film that deals with a topic they can relate to), and entertainment (no one wants to watch a three hour long film that drools on about statistics, look at Michael Moore’s films as an example, they not only tell the facts of his massage, but they also tell the story of how he got them. Keeping the viewer interested.)
In documentary film, what does Nichols mean by the treatment of people as “social actors”? Do you agree with this assertion?
Social actors are real so their status in the film is not only acting as a symbol for the greater society, but showcases an example from the story they are trying to highlight. (We can connect this to the first answer I gave, Michael Moore’s films don’t just tell the facts, they tell the experience of how he got them, thusly keeping the viewer engaged) When watching a documentary you do tend to “prepare ourselves not to comprehend a story but to grasp an argument” (Nichols 5). However, Nichols states that people tend to pay more attention to social actors than to fictional characters, which at first seems odd given the popularity of such films like Star wars or really any film Disney makes, however makes sense upon further inspection as people should relate and engage better if the topic is something that has, can, or is currently happening to them. Simply put, The more one can relate, the closer to the story one can feel.
Nichols mentions “three forms of alliance”. What are these three forms? How do they shape the creation of a documentary?
The three forms of alliance are, subject and social actors, viewers, and the filmmaker. These shape the documentary in almost every way possible. Depending on the topic, the filmmaker may change it to better convey his message. Or Maybe the audience has bias and the filmmaker changes the film to better fit that audience. It is also possible that the audience simply receives the message in a different way than the intended message of the filmmaker. The social actor (as we earlier discussed) can change how the viewer feels about the film depending on how they perform also. There’s lots of factors that can change a documentary, but