Thursday, January 28, 2016

Style in a Doc

My favorite nonfiction work is that which displays some finessed styling, whether it be premeditated or conceived in the editing room. Short of framing the shot, it is difficult to style, both visually and aurally, what is supposed to appear as "real life." A short and recent example of nonfiction work I believe to be successful in maintaining visual interest comes in an episode of Refinery29's "Sound Off" series, below:

Introducing viewers to Brazilian female rapper Karol Conka, this video oozes style. What I find most appealing are its:

-capturing of natural light (0:03 is a staged shot but does not detract from the documentary feel)
-humorous matching of sound to picture (0:46 and 1:43 obviously came along in the editing room)
-occasional POV as a "follower" (4:12 and more)

These aspects combine to make an interesting video--visually, aurally, and story-wise. Should I decide to pursue my doc idea of following around certain women of Ithaca, I would aim to conjure up a similar sense of intimacy and interest (i.e. follow the subject(s) around, use positioning to make what occurs naturally as beautiful as possible, play with sound and speed when editing) as is achieved by this episode of "Sound Off."

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