Success or Flop

Mandy

Well-known member
Documentaries are something enjoyable because aside from the educational insight that it provides, it can also be exciting like when watching a movie. Since its also a type of film, the cinematography is also applicable to its creation. Weighing it out, do you think poor cinematography is acceptable in a documentary as long as the data is truthful?
 

LifeCaptured

Well-known member
Great topic! I don't think "truth" holds as much water today as it used to. You can have a poorly shot film, and people will love it as long as it agrees with how they already think and feel. By the same token, you can create a perfect piece of cinematography, but if the content goes against the viewers' beliefs then it will be ripped to shreds. What do you think?
 

Reel Media

Active member
Weighing it out, do you think poor cinematography is acceptable in a documentary as long as the data is truthful?
I agree somewhat with LifeCaptured's take on this, but I think he takes it a step too far. Documentaries that share truthful data can make a difference. For instance, some of the Scientology exposes aren't the best when it comes to cinematography, but it's made some of the members rethink their status. It's actually on record that some of the most devout Scientologists left the church after seeing one of the documentaries that exposed the organization's hideous sins. In my opinion, poor cinematography is acceptable as long as the documentary presents truthful information.
 

Rachel

Well-known member
I don't think cinematography matters much when it comes to documentaries. It's really all about the people or the subject. It's about the story that's being told. A good example is Blackfish. It's meant to shine a light on what happens to marine animals in captivity. I'm paraphrasing, but the tagline was something like - if you were stuck in a bathtub for years and years, wouldn't you go crazy and lash out? The documentary seems roughly shot at times, in my opinion. The camera work leaves a lot to be desired. It's an excellent
documentary nonetheless.
 

Fairytale Studios

Well-known member
@Rachel and @Reel Media raised some good points and kind of have me rethinking things. I still believe that a documentary that has good camerawork will trump one that is clobbered together with a jerky cameraman. I also believe that a documentary with truthful data will outdo one that is merely propaganda dressed up in a pretty bow.
 

ShutterUp

Well-known member
The importance of excellent cinematography cannot be overemphasized. I have come across some documentaries whose picture quality and videography were wanting, and I didn't enjoy watching them. I think you have to get every other aspect right.
 

Mandy

Well-known member
By the same token, you can create a perfect piece of cinematography, but if the content goes against the viewers' beliefs then it will be ripped to shreds. What do you think?
In this sense, it's like documentaries can be ignored regardless of content or appeal when topics become too sensitive for the viewer. That would be a bummer if the content and delivery are great yet the audience becomes limited.
 

Plankton

Well-known member
Cinematography can help in making it easier for the audience to absorb technical information. Because sometimes even if facts are laid out, people have a hard time understanding what is said. So the success of a documentary may lie in the good delivery of truthful knowledge.
 

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