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Historical Documentary - Essay Example

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As the flow of Current Affairs documentary ebbed, and the global and competitive nature of television increased, one form of documentary suddenly became more popular than it had ever been before - history documentary. In this essay I would like to have a look at where history documentary came from, and why it 'boomed'…
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Historical Documentary
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"Historical Documentary"

Download file to see previous pages But one form of documentary was on an upwards curve even into the new millennium - the history documentary"
Documentary films are non-fiction films which portray the events which have already happened and which are happening at the moment. This developed in time to be the historical documentaries which have entered a golden age in the literal sense of the word. This boom is attributed to many factors like the political changes, the crucial event in a country, the anxious arrival of the millennium, the unpredicted development of technology, and the accessibility of information. It is also due to freedom of information, favourable political and economical factors, the establishments of film archives, the regular transformation of the filmgoers and producers, prevailing nostalgia of what we left behind and the demand for more real historical events. Over and above these causes, the other noteworthy change was the co productions of history documentaries and political and economical conditions which added to the flourishing of these types of documentaries.
"The documentary--whether it is a written account, a photograph, or a film--has long served as one of the primary sources for historians writing about the past as well as one of the key forms, historians use to communicate their stories about the past." (Professor Jill Watts -History 300B, spring 2007) Documentary film was actually born of the written and photographic tradition
Initially, documentary films were just current events which had certain significance for the people living at that particular period of time. This created a genre of films which have a say not for the universal time but for only a period. This type of documentary would have had its heyday only when certain pulverizing events such as wars and political controversies took place. When the heat of the debate wears off, there is no more interest on the specific documentary anymore. History Documentary films have reflected attitudes and internal changes in British society for a century. British documentary as a notable movie genre surfaced around 1906. From then on documentary films began establishing a theme. The theme usually focused on the way of life of British working class and rarely touched on other types as well. An apt example of this is 'The Drifters' by Grierson
The growth of Documentaries
It is essential to note that the government and national agencies funded the production and distribution of such documentaries in the 1920s and 1930s. Popular agencies which got involved in this type of film making are the Ministries of Transport, Trade, Information, the General Post Office and Empire Marketing Board. The British documentary directors were all socialists and their documentaries such as Workers for Jobs by Arthur Elton in 1934, and then by Edgar Anstey in 1935 to devastating effect in Housing Problems for the Gas Light and Coal Company were technically advanced, using the latest film equipment in novel and exciting ways. They used synchronized sound-recording on location. Another important factor to note is that the 16mm film became standardized by Eastman and Bell & Howell in 1923 and the films were exhibited at cinemas as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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