Introduction to Documentary-show the real

Through I read the ‘Introduction to Documentary’,I found the author Bill Nichols divided the mode of documentary film into six modes:the Expository mode,the Poetic mode,the Observational mode,the Participatory mode,the Reflexive mode,and Performative.I must say when I saw these different type of documentary,I am not strange for it because I have seen these different modes in the different documentary before,except of the Poetic Mode,it is totally different for me.In my opinion,this type of documentary does not emphasize the depiction,not focus on creating a specific time and space for audience and not  emphasize the continuity of editing. It focused on the creation of rhythm aim to express the  mood and emotional appeal through the different spatial juxtaposition.Without any equivocation,the Poetic mode is very hard to complete for me like a beginner.

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As the Expository mode, this kind of documentary’s intentions disseminate very clearly,the creators relied on the power of the commentary to convince the audience to accept their point of view. A typical characteristic form is the “Voice of God”as Bill Nichols said,evidence,omniscient viewpoint.As the Observational mode,this kind of documentary is longer than the expression of the real world, but it is difficult to deal with historical themes. Because of abandon the voiceover,subtitles and images,it really can not easily flow in the long-winded and bored.As the participatory mode,director does not hide the presence, on the contrary, the director deliberately stressed interaction with the subject.As the Reflexive mode,the notable features of this type of documentary that presents social history of the documentary itself reflection. Like other types of documentaries,reflective expression documentaries importance of the real world, but more importantly, the film director also expressed reflection on documentary filmmaking itself. Such films often seem more abstract and difficult to understand.As the Performative mode,real events subjective enlarged,depart from the realistic style.The director focus on the subjective elaborate.

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For me,I really like the Observational Mode to make my own documentary.As an international student,when I studied in Melbourne for several months,I was very interested in the real life for the international students study aboard.Different culture,different language,different people give them all kinds of challenge.I really want to record some students real life,such like their daily life:how to rent a place to live,how to buy daily necessities for live,how to associate with local people and make new friends and so on,how to fight with their tough course,how to find a part-time job.I also want to focus on some couples of them,express their variety of love and love.As I am also a international student,I knew the situation about them very clearly.And for another reason,as my understanding,just use the observational mode may make the documentary so boring,so I want to use the participatory mode in my documentary additional.In this way,add my real experience,or ask the questions through my personally feelings.I think through the mix way would make my documentary more plenitude and attractive.

Reference list:

Nichols,B(2013),6 Types of Documentary,viewed  25 May 2015,<;

laurahillll15(2012),Documentary styles examples,viewed  25 May 2015,<;

No Direction Home – on my way forever

At the beginning,we can see a man play the electric guitar on the stage,and with a bunch of the spotlight on his body from the ceiling.Then the following is a young man’s close-up scene which playing harmonic.Bob Dylan is not unfamiliar singer for me,I really like his songs when I was very young,especially the song named’blowing in the wind’,just because this is one of the episode of the film’Forest Gump’.So I can recognized him at this moment.I am not a huge fun for him,so I did not know much about him expect his song,and I did not see the‘No Direction Home’ before.But Bob Dylan is the most important artist to modern pop music. He is not only a great singer, an extraordinary live performer,a pop culture symbol,but also the most outstanding composer of his time.To now,through the video using the live show for his masterpiece,and then he sang the lyricsI with ‘No Direction Home’,so I can guess this video maybe tell us some about his past.In other words,maybe it’s a biographies for Bob Dylan.

With the live show is finished,the scene becoming to a black and white image and his song appears as background music,then the special voice of Bob Dylan was coming out.At the following scenes,we can see several black and white videos for the playing record,his living house many years ago,his picture when he was a little boy.And Bob Dylan talked about his childhood,growing.Through the characteristics of his tone,I can image it was an old man want to share his life with the audience by his clearly memories.And the voiceover complete the storytelling.So the audience will ready to get in the hero’s story has a simple and clear direct sense, it enhances our desire to continue to inquire, but also to avoid the attention of the audience dispersed to other minor, but these subtle message in the film is still no picture when presented it will be passed to us.

As we see,all of the videos about Bob Dylan’s memories were used Black and White.On the one hand,at his generation,the reserved pictures would be Black and White,it was the true reflection of that age;on the other hand,this way can push the audience into the atmosphere of empathy which the director wanted to created.I think it was a very useful way to express about one older person’s past in the biographies. Then we can noticed,the video also included the interview about Bob Dylan,and it was colourful scene.This way can remind the audience what is the past and what is the processing.Bob Dylan sat in front of the camera and said:’I am on the way home’ with a pragmatic tone as his usual and trying to thinking seriously.I really like the light used,with the background music,it really can make the audience feels a lot connected with their personality experience.

As the film continues,the editor Thelma Schoonmaker interspersed use variety of pictures of Bob’s past.So I think maybe this video would have one clue which is coherent,it is Dylan’s growth process.New York,anecdotes,love,politics,all kinds of details about himself.If you want the to know Bob Dylan,I definitely believed that it is the best way by seeing  this film’No direction home’,it would be a pure documentary,there were baby fat Bob,a handsome young man by high-spirited on the stage,wrinkled old man and so on.In addition,it should be say that the director Scorsese got absolutely amazing skills to collect the historical data,basically any information that Bob Dylan mentioned can be found very consistent image or video in the film.I think it is very important and useful way  to make a good documentary by all kinds of material can be used,kind of the picture,video,the newspaper.And through the editor used the fragment to exposed the subtext lead to the audience’s sympathetic response.And for me,Bob was also a poet, through the 2 minutes documentary,you can find the poetic monologue everywhere.

The first screen appearing in the film,Typically,this picture would represent the whole theme of the story,and attitude.In this beautifully constructed 2 minutes sequence,Bob talked his father and brother about how they influence his life.So I imaging that the following  film maybe appears Dylan’s friends and his predecessor who influenced him.And perhaps listen to him tell the stories about his old friends for many years.I must say this 2 minutes sequence,it totally attract me to see the whole film,maybe when I finished my assignment.I will spend a whole day to see it and figure out if my imagination is right.And for me,Bob was a poet, through the documentary,you can find poetic monologue everywhere.’Where I was born, very far away from my home, my way of being home’.

Seeing Sound, Hearing Image

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Several weeks ago,in our Sound and Image tutorial class,Jeremy let us using the Handheld Recorder to recorded some sound by groups,and using the camera to recorded some image with one theme we want to express.

At the beginning,I did not consider carefully by which exactly theme,so I just using the handheld recorder to catch all kinds of sound I interested,such like the sound of flush the toilet or someone closed the door with some creek sound,the sound of footstep by an anxiously person ran up the stairs,one motorcycle ready to across the street its engine started sound,the sound when some students play table tennis and basketball,and some person run for catch the tram in a hurry,some person chatting  on the roadside,the sound when wind blow the branch,the water come out by one fountain.

Until I transfer my sound clips to the computer,I found that I did not get the great sound.So I realized that if I am going to be recording outdoors, it’s absolutely necessary to use additional wind protection over the built-in microphones on the recorder. Many models come with a foam windscreen, but this usually isn’t enough to protect the audio from distortion when used outdoors.So my sound clips almost are noised and not very clearly.And I also was conscious of no matter what you do, the name of the game is always about getting the microphones close to the object that you want catch. If your on-camera talent is going to hold the recorder as they speak, be sure to tell them not to move their fingers around or fidget, because the microphones on the recorder will pick up those noises.However, I think maybe most of the time, the best way is to use an external microphone.And the really important thing is always make sure you’re recording before you start a rolling.And I found that if I want to get a high quality recording, I need to carefully plan my completed product and the steps for producing it.

屏幕快照 2015-05-15 下午8.22.25

After got the audio,I recorded some images by camera.This time before I shooting I already got my precise theme’Melbourne Autumn’.So when I started to shoot,I catch some images such like some yellow leaves on the roadside,the wind blow the leaves and branch,director my group member feel so cold wringing her hands all the time and put on her hat and stomping for get warm.But when I saw the cilps on the computer,I found some clips was not focus on the object and the screen looks blurred.And our location for shoot was not suitable for the light.

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After that,I began to edit my audio and video by premier.At the first step,I organized all the videos which I can used and connected with my theme’Melbourne Autumn’ to be a neatly folder.Then,I edit the clips by my screen script step by step.And I also choose some useful reinventing material to rebuild my new audio. During the editing,I found the sound which I recorded was so noisy,so I used the audio effects,like DeNoiser to adjust the volume of noisy sound and make the background sound more clearly.I used the repurposing material to build my first film.And the film got deferent layers.

At the end ,I build a new layer named’title’,and added’Melbourne Autumn’at my film’s beginning and’directed by Ailee’at the ending.Then I finished my 1 min film.

Finally,I pressed the CMD M to exported my film as Vimeo HD 1080p25.And I uploaded it on the Vimeo.

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Seeing Sound, Hearing Image.It is a totally fantastic work for me.But full of passion is not enough,it also need you set up all you wanted.First of all, make sure you are clear about the theme of your video.Work out a basic structure for the video and prepare a script or bullet points that you prefer to. If you’re planning to shoot in more than one location, make sure you have a plan for each location. Check you’ve got all the equipment you need for the shoot, including tripod, batteries and lights.

To make a real film by created video and audio,I need more practice.I should learn more video effects and audio effects by premiere or the other software.

melbourne autumn from Ailee Ma on Vimeo.


Using audio and video for educational purposes,Last updated 28 February 2014,viewed 12 May, 2015< >

MAKE an app NOT just use it!

In this modern society,I believe you’ve been start to use apps before many years.Your cellphone especially iphone or laptop has apps such like a game,calculator or photo editor particularly for girls.Recently these apps or applications, totally changed people’s daily life.

For me,I always wake up in the morning with a creative idea for one  app that nobody else has thought of before, and that be certained will be wide range of applications.The only problem is, I don’t know how to  begin designing and building an app! I am huge fun for iphone,so I am very interested in making an applications for iphone.Through some research,I learned three important things must grasp to make a applications,first important thing will be the content.It is the foundation of the app.Good content is filled with meaning, emotionally gripping and makes the audience feel like they’re learning something significant about the world. And you must let your app content is relevant, contemporary, fresh and keeps your visitors coming back for more.And it also positioning accuracy about who will interested your app and  buy it.

The second important thing will be the aesthetics.How to make a succeed app,the answer is a combination of an innovative idea, solid engineering, and brilliant design. But there’s something greater than this combination that determines an app’s success: its aesthetic moorings.At this step,you should consider the icon firstly,then the splash screen.These things all attract the visitors noticed the app and buy it .

The third important thing will be the most one:technology.For me,as a beginner it is the hardest part to achieve.But after I do some research,I found a lot of way can create it without any coding skills.A website called Buzztouch may be the web-based solution.And the Xcode download it from the Mac App Store, for $5 can give your hand to make  the app completed.


Apps,viewed  25 May 2015,<>

C. Bakari(2011),How To Create An iPhone Or Android App Without Any Coding Skills,viewed  25 May 2015,<;

Keyboard shortcuts-be a smart person!

As we known ,using  keyboard shortcuts when you use computer or some Software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects  can allow you to work faster, easier and make greater performance.

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I’ve been using Adobe Premiere Pro with a lot of basic shortcuts what I use most frequently in my editing that help me edit quickly and save seconds for my video making.According to,(2015),such as :Ctrl + C for Copy, Ctrl + X  for Cut ,Ctrl + V for Paste ,Ctrl + Z for Undo,Ctrl + Shift + Z for Redo ,Ctrl + A  for Select All, Ctrl + Shift + A for Unselect and so on.In our first class about editing our short video “LENNY” by Adobe Premiere Pro,Paul taught me the first keyboard shortcuts,”O”and”I”,means:Set Inpoint and Set Outpoint.It really shocks me how easy to cut my video so quickly on my timeline whenever I want.During I spent a lot of time for using Premiere .I learned lots of extra keyboard shortcuts to make my video project looks so effectively,such as:J, K, L for Rev, Play, Fwd ,L/R Arrows for Move one frame, -/+ for Zoom Out/In ,Home for Move to Start, End for  Move to End ,Page Up for Move to Next Cut, Page Down for Move to Prev Cut,Control + U for Reset my current layout when it gets disorganized and messy,Command + 1 for Audio Workspace,Command + 2 for Color Correction Workspace,Command + 3 for Editing Workspace.

After I made lots of research ,here are the most basic to advanced trimming shortcuts that I might not even know exist before.According to Lieu D(2014), ‘It would be the Panel Windows:Shift+1 = Project Panel,Shift+2 = Source Monitor cycles through open clips,Shift+3 = Timeline Panel cycles through open sequences,Shift+5 = Effects Control,Shift+8 = Media Browser.’

And to create a marker in a Premiere Pro sequence, use the shortcut “M”. I can see the markers in the markers Panel, so I can change their  length and add comments ,it is very useful for adding editing or producers .

After all,I still need to learn more keyboard shortcuts and more skills by Premier or After effects.If I want get more effectively ,only one way will be have more and more practice.

Reference:, (2015). Print Premiere Pro CC Shortcuts (Mac). viewed  5 May 2015 , <>

Derek Lieu,Posted on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog. viewed  5 May 2015, <>

Lenny – First Fantastic Shoot!

In our class,we got an unprecedented task.It was so exciting work for us,and all of us were expected can have this kind of chance to shoot a real video with a real script.That was shoot a short video by ourself which named ‘lenny’ used the script by our teacher.We should divide into groups,and each person should take charge of each crew for the shoot.Because our group have so many persons,we must separate to two days for shoot.First day,I was the actor for lenny.Second day,I charge for the camera operator.

Before you turn on your camera:pre-production

When the first time I got the script,because the script is so short and looks so simple ,I just read it for several minutes.And I really believed I got the whole meaning and can handle  the shoot without any difficult.But when our group discussed with the script,I realized  that I missed many details,such like every scene about the requirement of lens.After the first meeting about lenny shot,I find some skills about how to prepared for the shooting be professional and effectively from internet and library.Firstly,I think about the suitable position for the coming shoot,such like if the climate can match the story’s prospect,and also consider the place is definitely safe for the group shoot. Secondly,I create storyboards with several clip-art images for camera setups,such like the shooting angle,high angle shot,long shot,full shot,close-up shot, close shot,medium shot,background,three-quarter shot and so on.Thirdly,I also set up descriptive layouts and settings for each scene and shot.Make sure the shot type, angle, movement and equipment, including zoom in or zoom out, and sometimes,several methods can be used in combination with.After these preparation,it really made our following shooting more easier and effectively.

Before you call out:action!

Before action ,I learned a lot of things must to done.Firstly,adjust the white balance is the most important things to do .Even with a piece of white paper are shooting in different environments, such as different time, different light sources,it will be a totally different deviation.Correctly record our eyes seeing,it’s the reason for adjust the white balance.If you forgot,It totally can destroyed your video.

Up to now I still  felt so disappointed with myself about our group first shoot.we did not check our equipment when we start to our location we find for shoot.Just until our group members set up the camera,the director give the actors proper location and begin to shoot that we found our camera could not record as we want.We spent a lot of time to try to fix the problem,but unfortunately we failed.So we waste our first time for shoot and make whole group member felt so depressed.Through this unforgettable experience,it is still vivid in my memory:CHECK ALL OF YOUR NEED BEFORE ACTION!

Think more than you want:post-production

After we finished our shoot,we began to edit our video by Adobe Premier.I just found that it is very necessary need to readjust the white balance first when the location,temperature and lighting conditions changing.During our Lenny shoot,when we change our location from building to the street,the light turns more shine,but we forgot to readjust the white balance,so our shoot shows more white like exposure,and hard to focus on the actors face.As we know, before we started shooting in the use of digital cameras, must adjust the white balance in order to obtain a satisfactory colour effect, when the conditions changing, also need to readjust the white balance, if the white balance of the camera is not correct, there will be colour distortion.

Then the question of composition is also very important thing need to consider.  For example, During the Lenny shoot we want to put the actor in the middle of the picture, but the left side of the scene will looks too much, but the right side is so empty,it will need balance the whole frame.Maybe can be appropriate the screen a little to the left, although the character is not the center of the screen, but the the effect of overall frame will be very harmonious, does not affect the actors leading position.

After all,I realized  that SHOOT is not only about camera ,it also need you focus on everything about how can make it perfect.

Colour Grade-Make your video look like film!

I am a shutterbug,full of passion for taking photos everytime and everywhere.So I can used the Adobe Photoshop pro.Fortunately,Colour Grade is not difficult for me to learn,because it is very similar with using the Photoshop to change the pictures colour.

In video clips different colour can build a totally different mood,so the bright colour always associated with energy,sunshine,happiness,power,determination such like passion, desire, and love.And the blue colour usually associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes freedom,loyalty, smart, confidence,faith, truth, and heaven.The dark colour often associated with elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery,fear and the unknown things. It also can has a negative connotation which is the symbol of grief.So colour grade is a very useful skill can make your video express your story environment in perspective.Most important of all is colour grade can make your normal video look like real film stock.

Colour grade also can correct video clips when that’s too dark or too light, or set the levels to meet broadcast requirements or to match colour from scene to scene. Effects can also adjust the colour and luminance to emphasize or de-emphasize a detail in one clip.

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Look at my original clip named ‘Before’,it looks like a normal sunny day’s shot, but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture look more colder,some kind of like winter, can you believe it ? I just use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards deongaree and lavender tones to build a different environment.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture looks more darker,just looks like something mysterious will happen. I also use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards russetish and brown tones to build a kind of stranger woman.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video many years ago, can you image it?This time I use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zero to build a totally fresh world.

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Look at my original clip called ‘Before’,it looks like a very free shot,two person just sit down in some kind of park near their house without any strange,but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture look more sunny,such like a hot summer, can you believe it ? I just use three way colour corrector and bend the shadows towards red and the midtones towards yellow and also adjust the highlights towards white tones to build one looks like the sun is shinny brightly.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture looks more darker,looks like something mysterious will happen, can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards russetish and brown tones to build a stranger environment.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video with long history, can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zeroto build a not real world.

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Look at my original clip named ‘Before’,it looks like an ordinary day, but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture looks more darker,just looks like something mysterious will happen, it’s very match the enviornment that script want present to the audience.I use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards deongaree and brown tones to build a stranger environment.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture look more colder,some kind of like winter, can you believe it ? This time I just use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towardsgreenish-black tones to build a different environment.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video,can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zeroto build a fresh world.

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Look at  the video I shoot will be warmer than I prefer,I’d like to use the RGB parade scope to see how warm or cool the clips are in my video.I just used the temperature slider to adjust the shot on the primary layer’s overall setting. Finally, I can make fine adjustments to the highlights, midtones, and shadows of the shot using the various slider and trackball controls.

After all,I just learned the simple colour grade skills to change the videos present,I also want to learn Tints and Colour Washes and HSL Qualification and Hue Curves can make my video to a real film.


Andrea, R 2014, ‘Industrial Media: Colour grading’, Film, TV, Video, Media, RMIT, viewed 4 May, 2015, <> 2012, Premiere Pro CS6 Three-Way Color Corrector | tutorial 2012, 23 April, viewed4 May, 2015, <>

Pawel Pawlikowski

Reality is always higher than art. That is the very essence of a documentary. When I finished watching the documentary ‘The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst’, I couldn’t resist appreciating the wonderful narrative perspectives and the inherently amazing plots. The clues are peeled layer by layer with the rhythm just right in place.

As the polish director Pawel Pawlikowski said, ‘One of the reasons I made documentaries rather than fiction films was because they give you more freedom and fun. (Macdonald, K & Cousins, M., 1996)’ Definitely it is the Bible of every documentary director who are really keen to distil a story, not just a form of art, but also the process and the spirit they want to deliver to the mass. Nevertheless, what we still remember after the films except the dazzling visual effects and the same pattern of line plots.


Back to the film ‘The Jinx’, so gorgeous works. It records the history, becomes the history, and finally changes the history. The clips and music are so fantastic and the bizarre shock and awful turning are more than imagined. Plus those controversial and charm people who are interviewed without any visual effects, my adrenaline hurricanes so intensely. Whenever I see those little white durst eyes, staring like two black holes, I am full of the feeling of being swallowed. Little white durst eyes and black holes is an analogy. In film, analogy is essential and vital. Analogy lies behind basic tasks such as the identification of places, objects and people. Analogy and abstraction are different cognitive processes, and analogy is often an easier one. This analogy is not comparing all the properties between a hand and a foot, but rather comparing the relationship between a hand and its palm to a foot and its sole(Michael A. Martin).


Why is this documentary so fascinating? I agree with what Pawel Pawlikowski said:’the most successful documentaries nowadays seem to be those made by people with a lot of time on their hands and stall their subjects for five or ten years.’Jinx is also a film which takes many years to make. Compare to other documentaries, it avoids a lot of arguments and plots which we have heard many times. Instead, it directly interviewed some of the key characters, such as catching off guard Bobby’s brother at the banquet greeting, which is never showed in previous interviews. The rhythm is perfect and six sets are totally not redundant cumbersome. In the documentary, the rhythm is significant. Rhythm generally means a ‘movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions'(Anon. 1971). Its narrative looks like Agatha Christie’s ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, full of suspense. This documentary breaks through HBO’s usually consistent modern series style and it especially reflects an artistic sense of rhythm.

The glamour of film or documentary lies in analogy and rhythm. When we use these elements in the film or documentary, the charm will appear in different aspects of film to audience.


Macdonald, K & Cousins, M. Imagining reality, (p. 389-392). London: Faber & Faber, 1996.

Michael A. Martin, The Use of Analogies and Heuristics in Teaching Introductory Statistical Methods

 Anon. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary II. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.