Analysis of BBC 4 Documentary Caravan’s
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Analysis of BBC 4 Documentary Caravans: A British Love Affair
Analysis of BBC 4 Documentary Caravans: A British Love AffairShaun HughesDocumentary Type:Caravans: A British Love Affair was a mixed documentary. This is because it included a combination of interview, observation, narration, actuality footage as well as archive material.
Here is an example of archive material used in the BBC Four documentary.Themes:Social historyFemale independenceFreedom Family Friendship Narrative Structure:The documentary follows a closed, non linear, single strand narrative structure. It is closed due to the fact that nothing is left unanswered, it is what is.Also, the documentary is non linear because it jumps about through time with the use of archive material, an example of this is when we are shown images of Dorrie Van Lachterops trips in her caravan.Finally, its a single strand narrative because of the fact that it focuses on the story of the caravan only.
Camera Work; Interviews:During interviews, the interviewee was filmed in a variety of ways including; close up, medium close up, mid shot and long shot. The interviewee is placed either left or right of centre and they ignore the presence of the camera.
In this screen grab from the documentary, the interviewee is captured in a mid shot and he is left of centre. He also ignores the presence of the camera.Camera Work; Other:Many shots are used throughout the exposition, including; low angle, wide shots, long shots, pan, tilt, high angle, zoom, handheld, tracking, crabbing and aerial shots.Many of these shots are used to establish the setting (aerial shots, high angle, wide shots and long shots)
High angle shot
Wide long shot
Tracking shotMise En Scene:
Interior of caravans
Interior of houses
Bookshelves behind historian
Contrast between caravan and house in terms of spaceSound:Within the documentary there were many aspects of sound, including;Non diagetic music relating to the time period that is being spoken about or displayed (e.g.; French music when Paris is being discussed).Sombre music when looking at the death of Sam Alper (founder of Sprite Caravans).Much of the music is used as a music bed, underneath the narration and visuals.Female voice over who speaks calmly and well paced as well as in standard English.WW2 sound effects are used in the form of air raid sirens.Editing:The most common edit in the documentary is a cut, used to separate different interviews and topics.A montage is also used, many images and videos of Paris were put together to make it
Another edit commonly used is the fact that questions are edited out of the piece (cut aways).
Montage of ParisArchive Material:There was lots of archive material used, it helps to tell the story of the people involved and the life of the caravan. Here are some examples:
Graphics:The use of the graphical feature, superimpose, helps to anchor the relevance of an interview, the name is in a bigger font than the subline.
The title of the documentary, Caravans: A British Love Affair, is presented on a book cover.
Font for the name is in a large non serif font.Subline is also non serif, it is in a smaller font and anchors the importance of the person and their opinions.
Title; Caravans: A British Love Affair on a book cover.