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Comparative Documentary Essay Frame

Katie Eyres | Wednesday May 20, 2009

Categories: Other Topics, Documentaries, Activities

With reference to both the Versace and the Spice Girls Documentaries, how do these texts offer the audience a sense of ‘true documentary’?

This essay will involve a comparison of the two post 1990 texts that we have studied. You must write in full sentences, comparing the two, and offering an argument towards the initial question .

Follow each step to write the perfect essay. It is up to you to add in the detail.

1. Introduce the essay. Say what you are going to be discussing, and how you will prove this.

2. Start with Versace. Using your key concepts sheet, discuss:

a) Representation - Who is being represented? How? Why are they being represented like this? Etc

b) Narrative - How is the narrative structured (Don’t forget that narrative is not just a voiceover!)? What does this do for the audience? Is it effective? Why/Why not? Etc

c) Audience - Who is the documentary aimed at? How do we know this? Why is this important? Etc

Don’t forget to use detail - think about the notes that we have made in class, particularly based on the first 10ish minutes.

3. Then discuss Solo Spice. Do the same again (Representation, Narrative, Audience), referring back to the comments you have already made on the Versace documentary. Think about the following questions as you write about this one:

a) How is it different?

b) Is the difference more or less effective?

c) Which do you prefer and why?

4. Discuss the question: What is a true documentary? - Very briefly (i.e. statement, evidence, conclusion, - look back at the Technicalities notes that we made after watching the Versace documentary). You might start this part with:

A ‘true documentary’ would consist of ...

And conclude it with ...

We would expect to see these things in a documentary that we are watching because ...

5. Do the documentaries you have viewed agree with the principles of a ‘true documentary’, and how do they agree? This time focus on the key points and discuss both docs...


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