Over the past week or so I’ve been looking at our next assignment on documentaries. The task involves picking 1 interesting person within groups of 3/4 and editing a visual piece together documenting a story that this person has to tell, all within 3 minutes.
As documentaries is something that I would love to be involved with when I graduate (particularly sports documentaries, more on that later) , this task seems well suited to me and it’s one I hope to do well in.
To begin a good documentary, you need a good subject. As the brief tells us that it has to be someone from our local area, and me being from Coventry, I thought I would know quite a few interesting people. It turns out, I don’t really know that many people or ones at least with storys to tell. However, going through my address book on my iPhone, I came across 2 people who I thought may be on interest.
Aaron Walton or Ashley Walton (a.k.a – Twin)
Aaron and Ashley are both 21, twins and convicted football hooligans. In 2008, they were both involved in a serious incident at a Coventry pub before a local derby against Leicester. They were sentenced to 1-2 years in a youth offenders prison. Since being released, they have been placed on a football banning order for 10 years. Aaron has now managed to turn his life around, and is now in a decent job with good prospects ahead of him. Ashley like-wise. The documentary would include how it has affected them both, their family and friends, their love for football and what made them turn their lives around.
Obviously this is only a start to the people I could look at being my subject and I have many more avenues to follow, particularly at my local pub and club where there are a lot of interesting people.
Now onto the type of documentaries I would like to be involved with. Over the past 5-6 years, HBO in America has compiled several sports documentaries on various sports including boxing and baseball. They take you behind of the scenes of teams and individuals and get you inside the game. I love sport, I love competition so I think they would suit me ideally.
In December, they aired a series called “24/7 Pens vs Caps – The Road to the Winter Classic” (preview above). This took you inside the NHL (National Hockey League) and into both teams camps leading up to the 2nd most prestigious game in the calendar. As a massive fan of Ice-Hockey anyway, the show was very captivating in how it told the story, it’s visuals and it’s sound. One particular song was used quite often leading up to a important scene where the teams would be about to play a game (below).
I would urge you to watch the documentary, even if you don’t like sport. HBO also do standard documentaries on other subjects such as ex-presidents etc and having watched many of these, in my personal opinion, no one is better then the HBO team.
Looking at the amount of documentaries that have been made and the broad range of topics they cover, it’s foolish to say that all documentaries are made on people. In fact personally I think they can cover all aspects of reality. I found out that a guy named ‘John Grierson’ first coined the word ‘documentary’ when reviewing a film. He found that the original ‘actor’ and ‘scene’ as such had a much better way of interpreting the story rather then fictional counterparts. This is what started a whole new genre.
That being said, there is a massive range of topics to do documentaries on and I have only just started to scratch the surface.