By Annabelle Honess Roe
Animated Documentary, the 1st e-book to be released in this attention-grabbing subject, considers how animation is used as a representational process in nonfiction movie and tv and explores the methods animation expands the variety and intensity of what documentary can exhibit us in regards to the world.
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Brian Winston has noted that with the rise of Direct Cinema in the 1960s and early 1970s that style of fly-on-thewall documentary filmmaking became established as ‘the dominant model for contemporary Anglo-Saxon documentary’ (Winston, 1995: 206). Theatrically released documentaries that offered a glimpse into the life of rock stars and politicians led to an increased popularity of the form among the general audience. As a result, viewers came to associate non-interventionist, realist style with what a documentary should look like.
Sonneson takes things even further when he says that our interpretation of a photograph does not depend on us knowing its indexical status and ‘it will continue to convey its significations to us, whether we are certain it is a photograph or not’ (Sonneson quoted in Winston & Tsang, 2009: 461). Coming at the matter from a different angle, this is a characteristic of photography, and its reception, echoed by Tom Gunning (2004: 41) when he says ‘our evaluation of a photograph as accurate [ ... ] depends not simply on its indexical basis [ ...
Both terms imply an absence – an absence of original filmed material due to practical constraints or impossibilities. We cannot capture footage of living dinosaurs any more easily than we can film emotions, feelings and mental states. If we wish to make an audio-visual documentary about these subjects, then something must be used instead of live action and the choice for that something is increasingly animation. Animation is more than a simple one-for-one stand-in, however. It is, to state the obvious, different from live-action film.