Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Art of The Docudrama

My plan for Tuesday night was to watch The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, but the episode was on until 11:20 and admittedly that is past my bedtime. However, I did get a chance to watch it the next day, and it was definitely worth the wait. In case you have no clue what I am talking about, here is a video to get you interested.

Blame it on my age, or ignorance, or a mixture of both, but I really do not know much about the O.J. Simpson case; so when I found out FX was releasing a docudrama miniseries about the case starring Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, and David Schwimmer, I was all for it. The camera work and acting blended with the dramatic reality of the entire case made for great and informative television. It is almost too good to be true, but fact checkers across the internet have found the majority of the series' portrayal accurate. 

From a documentary production standpoint I took a lot of notes as well. Sure, a lot of the shots would not be realistic to achieve in an actual documentary, but the episode actually contained a lot of oners and handheld shots that would be possible in a documentary. A lot of times documentary shots tend to be a bit stagnant, but cinematographers can definitely (and should) study docudramas to find some inspiration for more dynamic shots. I wish I could find a clip online to explain what I am talking about, but I guess you'll just have to watch American Crime Story and see for yourself. 

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