"The true authenticity of photographs for me is that they usually manipulate and lie about what is in front of the camera, but never lie about the intentions behind the camera.” ― Wolfgang Tillmans, German photographer
In short avoid anything not done by the BBC Natural History Unit. And if you think you can make a doc by not using foley, editing etc. Obviously you never have tried to do it yourself and you are just bitching. Discovery rating boosters like truly fake documentaries about fake sharks and big foot that is truly unethical. But BBC Natural History Until should get nothing but praise for they have done more good for natural world than most charities but providing education and connection to places we will never see or events we will never witness. I have been watching documentations for a long time and basically anything in America which is privately owned is fake in both execution and intentions these days and BBC is still state owned specifically the legendary Natural Unit. They don't have to compete for ratings in ways corporately owed companies have to, they get fonded for natural history preservations like museums. Ratings are bonus. Always welcomed but not a motivation for unethical broadcasting.
"If you want to get an idea across, wrap it up in a person. "
― Ralph Bunche, US diplomat (1904-1971)
Storytelling is about two things; it's about characters and plot.
Characters facilitate the emotional investment of the audience
and plot is the vehicle for the message you want to deliver to them.
“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Another way to put it is that plot is what happens, story is what it is about.
Plot is nothing more than the logical progression of events that is used to tell the story. Story is what the movie (or book, etc.) is about.
When in doubt, just remember that plot is what happens and story is what it is all about.
“Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Oh, I see. Fair enough. I miss that. Cheers!
Notable mentions: The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003) or Standard Operating Procedure (2008) by Errol Morris. Almost anything from BBC Natural History Until, just check out "The Hunt (2015)", you don't get more cinematic than that. There are many others but I'll just mentioned those few. Cheers!
"Color is an image isn't just up to the colorist, it's a complex result of decisions made all the way back to the script stage."
Well said. And good article important to be told. For a nerd watching comic books movies and argues with other nerds on the interwebs about who would win between fictional characters as if the world will collapse, that must be hard fact to grasp. Watch some other video essays, learn some video editing, pick a controversial topic such as comic book movies, which is matter of life and death to other nerds, and you got yourself over half a million views. Easy peasy.
It would seem that concern expressed by John P. Hess from FilmmakerIQ.com was well placed. After Every Frame a Painting video esseys became more mainstream and popular, everyone is a video essayist it seems, thinking that only thing it takes is nice voice over and fancy editing. But its quite clear that this video forgot to do its Due diligence and do its homework. I'm sure we will see more and more cleverly edited video essays with shallow substance in the near future. It has become a popularity contest not a genuine desire to make a difference with all the hassle of endless research that entails. One must be very careful these days, not to fall for looks and miss the substance of video content found online. What's the expression, form follows function, is the way it should be, not the other way around.
Excellent point. Sadly human nature and its many flaws is on display every time such argument pops up.