The Documentary Handbook  book cover
1st Edition

The Documentary Handbook

ISBN 9780415434027
Published January 22, 2010 by Routledge
432 Pages

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Book Description

'The Documentary Handbook is mandatory reading for those who want a critical understanding of the place of factual formats in today’s exploding television and media industry, as well as expert guidance in complex craft skills in order to fully participate. The practical advice and wisdom here is second to none.' – Tony Steyger, Principal Lecturer, Southampton Solent University, UK

The Documentary Handbook is a critical introduction to the documentary film, its theory and changing practices. The book charts the evolution of documentary from screen art to core television genre, its metamorphosis into many different types of factual TV programme and its current emergence in forms of new media. It analyses those pathways and the transformation of means of production through economic, technical and editorial changes.

The Documentary Handbook explains the documentary process, skills and job specifications for everyone from industry entrants to senior personnel, and shows how the industrial evolution of television has relocated the powers and principles of decision-making. Through the use of professional Expert Briefings it gives practical pointers about programme-making, from research, developing and pitching programme ideas to their production and delivery through a fast-evolving multi-platform universe.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Talk to the Camera  1. Reportage  2. 'Lecture' Series  3. Vox Populi  Part 2: Observe the People  4. Real Life  5. Docu-soap and Moc-doc  6. Ambulance Chasers  7. Undercover Expose  8. Freak Shows  Part 3: Change the Mind  9. Education  10. Propaganda  11. Polemic  12. Liberation  Part 4: Entertainment for All  13. Formats and Reality TV  14. Lifestyle and Makeover  15. Performance  16. Drama-doc  17. Art and Anarchy  Part 5: Watch the Figures  18. Biopics  19. Wildlife and Environment  20. Landmarks  21. Box Office  Conclusion  Bibliography  Filmography  Index

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Peter Lee-Wright is a documentary film-maker with 30 years’ experience working for the BBC and Channel 4. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Media & Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His most recent writing – critical overviews of sports documentary and trade union documentary – was published in Routledge’s Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film (2005).