Chapter 1: Introduction. “Documentary Storytelling is the powerful merging of visual and literary narrative devices to enable media makers to reach and engage audiences with nonfiction content” (xiii) Documentaries are the most organic process, and sometimes the name can be misleading, like the dry informational video you watched in fifth grade. But real documentaries are nothing like that at all. They “often emphasize character, conflict, rising stakes, a dramatic arc, and a resolution. They bring viewers on a journey, immerse them in new worlds, and explore universal themes” (1). Documentaries are places of not inventing, which takes an unexpected amount of creativity. They have to be compelling, but also reliable and honest. It’s considered a finished thought, so that takes reflection on the part of the creator (aka, me.) This chapter also talks about how to spot a biased documentary, which I really appreciated, as a fan of the occult but not willing to lie to prove a point.
Chapter 2: Story Basics: Though we usually use “narrative film” to specify from a documentary, documentaries are also narrative. It then goes through the storytelling terms, which I am familiar with as an aspiring author and filmmaker, such as exposition, theme, arc, plot and character, POV, detail, etc. I loved the section, “A good story well told,” which outlines the necessary elements of a, well, good story well told. these include:
- It’s about somebody we can empathize with
- This somebody wants something, bad
- This something is difficult to achieve
- the story is told for maximum emotional impact
- The story must come to a satisfactory ending
If something is easy, theres no tension.
Chapter 3: Finding the Story: This chapter is helping me really refine my story idea. I think I’m going with my mom’s GSA, but I need more than just that to build a story around. This also comes with time constraints, as my mom’s GSA only meets once a week. But when asking myself what about the topic that grabs you, is overall acceptance. The GSA, is not just for LGBTQ+ folks, but ally’s as well. My mother is a cis, heterosexual woman and she created it. Not all the kids in it are even gay, or questioning. It has become more than just its label; its label has allowed it to be a safe space, but it is not defined by that but instead loving each other. “There is a lot of drama in ordinary experiences” (40). In terms of access, it being my mother’s GSA opens up the possibilities. The only thing would maybe be getting clearance from the parents of the kids. Affordability: yes, it is. Passion and curiosity; I have a lot of that for this particular subject. The intended audience: I want to show people what a GSA is really like, and face some of the criticism head on that middle school age “is too young to be showing them that.” I think it’s incredibly relevant, even in my mom’s own personal accounts of homophobia they face from some teachers, parents, and the rise in these problems since Trump was elected. I think that would allow me to dig in to the hatred that his movement has showed was OK.