Chapter 4: Visuals serve a story, they are not THE story. You want the visuals to be engaging, beautiful, aesthetic; if it fits the piece. But that is exactly what they are: a piece. This chapter talks about structure, something I’m familiar with as I’m attempting to write a book. It covers the “train,” the single thread that drives your film toward a resolution. To identify the train, you have to cut out the plot points and structure, to the core question, or action. The core action of mine could be, “Shane putting together his new EP,” or “Shane working to achieve success.” This chapter talks about the need for the train to be both universal and specific. The train is the device that gets to the heart of your film. “Thinking about the ‘initially uninterested,’ is a good strategy in general” (Bernard, 58). This chapter also talks of the narrative frame, such as shots, scenes, sequences, inciting incident and so on.
Chapter 5: Talks about the importance of time on screen, because documentaries have to be aware of that when filming. You have to arrange the story within chronological timing, in a documentary meaning interweaving non-chronological elements in order to tell the full story. You can use things non-chronologically, but you have to respect cause and effect. The narration has to keep track of where you are in the film’s present, even if you step into the past. I loved this quote: Filmmaking, is a process of expanding and/or collapsing real time. You can collapse the first part of the story into two minutes, in order to focus more time on the main subject. It is important when dealing with timing, because filmmakers need to be careful to maintain accuracy.
Chapter 6: Creative Approach: How a story is presented on screen. The range of approaches is many: is the tone humorous? What production elements are used? Is the program produced quickly or inexpensively? Its important to consider all of these qualities, and make sure they match up with your overall storyline.
Chapter 7: Close Viewing: Audiences respond to work in terms of its content or issues raised. If well done, craft should feel inevitable, seamless and invisible. This chapter shows you how to analyze a documentary and analyzes some with you. Some questions to ask during viewing: What do i think it’s about? Who or what am I concerned for? What’s at stake? Where do I think the story is headed? It then goes over specific elements, like the opening sequence (to set forth why were there, what the problem is, and it’s history) and the importance of delivering on the promise. The most important thing is it’s a finished thought.