3 Minute Wonder
A 3 minute wonder is a chance for directors that haven't yet had the opportunity to make and produce a film, 3 minute wonder gives them the chance to have that opportunity and create a 3 minute documentary on one specific subject. Channel 4 offers £4000 and their assistance in making their films which are then aired at 7:55pm every week day. The subject being documented is usually an issue not in the public eye and therefore is up to them to expose the issue. The topics range from poverty, illness to graffiti arts and food, they are completely a random mix of topics that are unreported on in the public media.
1 - 3 Minute Wonder Chloe Scotney, this documentary looks at relationships, posing questions, for example how the interviewees first met their other halves and why their relationships are so special.
What I like about this documentary is that it takes into account the relationship of all ages, younger 20's and to the older people who have been married for 20 or more years. It gives an insight to many different reasons why people are in love and also talks of how people found each other and that they are all different in their own way. Watching this I have learnt that there are many ways you can love a person and each person loves someone in their own way and maybe you don't agree with your friends decision, or they don't agree with yours to be with a particular person, however it is your decision and your happiness on the cards. Also learnt to take chances at meeting someone new because they could be the one you spend a long time with. This would be classed as a observational documentary because the filmmaker/director is not present and completely leaves the judgement clear to the audience for them to make their own opinion, they position a part of life without any interference of an opinion.
2 - 3 Minute Wonder, If not school then what?, this documentary is about secondary school children who are excluded or do not fit into the school system, and what the alternatives for them are. What I like about this documentary is that it presents a topic that isn't necessarily shown to the public, a topic of children being excluded and going no where is reported about however not what possibilities there are for children who just cannot get on and work within the school system. This shows a group of people who care for the young society that aren't as capable as others but are willing to teach them skills that they would be able to learn at school but are more disadvantaged. I've learned what options there can be for people who don't fit into the education system and that there are jobs available to help these young people who suffer with this. This documentary format I would say is also observational as the filmmaker is not present and the documentary is ran by the people involved and the audience can make their own assumptions about the characters involved and what they think about the documentary without an opinion being forced at them.
3 - 3 Minute Wonder, The wall (pure evil), this documentary is presenting street artists and different graffiti techniques, it takes an insight into why artists do graffiti and what effect it has on the public. I liked this documentary because the authenticity was strong in the sense there was no voice over informing on what is happening and it felt as if it wasn't constructed because the filmmaker was not present and forcing an opinion onto the audience, it flowed and felt that the filmmaker was genuinely interested in street arts which therefore engaged me in the subject further. I learnt that sometimes graffiti art is no just vandalism but is a form of expression and some people devote their lives to such activities and that is their job, it also can improve the look of an area with the type of art presented. Included what I have said this is also an observational documentary which I believe is the strongest documentary type because there is no narrow view point on the issue and the audience can make their own minds up about the subject.
Market Research into Documentary format and current viability.
For the first part of my research i have decided to look whats on, on a weekday because the type of documentary may differ from what could be shown on a weekend. I chose the times from 7pm because that is when people will be home from work and sitting down for tea and possibly watching the TV and these are the documentaries available. Here we can see there is a documentary called 'The Benefits Estate' that is about the money crisis of people who do not have jobs and live dependently on benefits, another documentary 'Back in Time for Dinner' this is about the UK food from the 1950's up until now with a family trying out the foods and living on them for six weeks. Both of these documentaries have in common the fact the audience can relate to money crisis's and have opinions on food, a documentary the audience would understand and relate to would engage them further, additionally placing it on a weekday when people have been at work all day this is the type of thoughts that are in the mind of the public and therefore the documentaries compliment their thoughts.
This is a TV listing for the weekend and we see here there is less documentaries being shown, possibly a reason for this is because there are other shows that get more views that involve more entertainment and celebrity content and are only available on weekends. The factual programs and documentaries shown still apply to that relation to the public's lives for example GP's Behind Closed Doors would be of high interest in the public because it involves them, as the majority of the public have a GP. At prime time on the weekend was the honoring of Afghanistan soldiers service which would have been in high public interest within the whole of the nation, this could be said that the more high profile and more in the interest of the public then the closer to peak time it will be on.
From the BARB website this is the percentage of popularity in the documentaries and other entertainment programs. As you can see 11.9% coming in third of the most popular types of program, this is where documentaries lie. Surprising it is above the news and just shows how maybe the pubic seem to believe documentaries more than the news, however this is only a possibility. Could be seen the other way round as drama which is fake is more popular than documentaries, this means that the public could possible prefer a fake and fantasy instead of the truth and reality. As we have seen the documentaries that tend to be on at prime time are ones in the public interest and most relation towards the subject.
Here we see a popular documentary which was about a prison, looking at this it reinforces the idea of what could be in the public interest and prison is a controversial topic of the nation, which could be a result of the successful 6.35 million viewers last year. Showing that factual programming is actually becoming more popular and people are being to spike an interest is more of the truth, according to this quote, specifically to the channel ITV seems to be the most popular channel that withholds these documentaries.