Documentary Writing

    Please respond, in at least 100 words to two of your classmates posts about their selected film. Please keep in mind that your response should not simply agree or disagree with the initial post. Please avoid repeating information already stated in the initial post. Rather, you should add your own perspective on the information and your own observations in an effort to elaborate on the style and content of the film. If others have responded already, you should feel free to connect and elaborate on those ideas mentioned in other response posts without repeating information.

    Response 1:
    The documentary I have chosen, A Failure of the Imagination, Is a mix of styles. I would say the main ones being expository and essayistic. I am aiming for that direction in my own documentary as well. My documentary will be about an environmental issue, similar to this one. I plan on using the same B-roll style of A Failure of the Imagination. The B-roll shots seem to be very poetic. When we see the trash falling from the claw, it has an emotional momentum to the shot. I want to include similar imagery to my documentary. I am writing about the Memphis Aquifer. I want the B-roll footage of the various bodies of water, to show power and might. Another similarity between these two documentaries would be storytelling. A Failure to the Imagination uses Ethos in its storytelling. It also has a linear narrative, someone is presented with a problem and they fix it. I want my documentary to take a similar route. However, the problem wont be solved because it is still ongoing. I want to use Ethos as my main tool in connecting with the viewer and persuading them. Finally, in A Failure of the Imagination, every shot is beautiful. Even when the documentary is talking about the amount of waste produced, it seems to be a beautiful shot. I want my documentary to be the same. I am writing about a key geographical feature for Memphis and the Mid-South. I want every shot to encapsulate how beautiful the Aquifer can be.

    Response 2:
    Structurally speaking, my chosen film, Cleveland Clinics Third Face Transplant Patient | Katie Stubblefield, begins as many films do narratively, with recounts from close friends and family that illustrates Katie’s life, and highlights her bright future ahead before tragedy struck. It most certainly strikes abruptly, after about 00:55 into the documentary and from then on, follows Katie Stubblefield’s journey of rehabilitation and her face transplant. The film is initially framed as a slice of life view into Katie’s life, with music to match the optimistic tone of her loved ones as they discuss her. The tone is broken with the sound of a gunshot, and without warning, Katie has turned a gun on herself,  destroying her face almost entirely. The film then leads to Katie’s father being approached by her doctor, who tells him that outside of a face transplant, he’s unsure if Katie’s face could be reconstructed at all.  It is this approach that influenced my choice to pick this film because the odds are stacked against Katie outright. From my perspective, Katies story highlights the race against time and the elements, as not only the viability of the life-saving specimens hangs in the balance, but the lives of those they are destined to save. It would take the right people doing all the right things and working in harmony to make Katies transplant a reality, which is the main provocation behind the subject of my documentary, the system of organ/specimen transport. By underlining stories like Katies, I planned on establishing a locomotive framework for my documentary.

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