Volume 4, Article 17, 2012
|Title:||Database Documentary: From Authorship to Authoring in Remediated/Remixed Documentary|
|Affiliation:||School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Australia|
|No. of pages:||327-346|
|View Article:||View Article (PDF); References (HTML)|
|Abstract:||The engagement with documentary from its inception as a film form is frequently a set of references to documentary auteurs. The names of Flaherty, Grierson, Vertov and later Ivens, Leacock and Rouch are immediate signifiers of whole documentary film practices. These practices have given rise to histories and criticism that have dominated discussion of documentary and provided the foundation for more nuanced thinking about problems of the genre. One of the seminal texts in the field, Documentary by Erik Barnouw (1974) celebrates the auteur as the structuring principle for his historical review of documentary. It may be a reflection of the influence of this book, that so much of documentary criticism reflects the auteur approach as a starting point for analysis.
The shift towards a new documentary format, the Database Documentary, challenges the concept of an auteur in its presentation of documentary materials. This format relies on a remediation technique that recalibrates documentary media within new distributive networks supported by the web and enhanced by converged and designed visual and sonic interfaces. The reception modalities are necessarily removed from the familiar forms of projection and presentation of documentary film and television.
The research focus for this paper is how the concept of authorship (the “auteur”) is transformed by the emergence of the relatively new screen format of the database documentary.
The paper reviews some of the more recent examples of Database Documentary, the contexts for their production and the literature on new conceptions of documentary knowledge that may be drawn from these examples. An analysis of the authoring program, Korsakow and the documentaries that have been made using its software will demonstrate the route documentary has travelled from authorship to authoring in contemporary media production.
|Keywords:||Database documentary, documentary film, authorship, remediation|