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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Influences of Concepts and Structure of Documentary Cinema
Ron Wakkary, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Melahat Hosseini, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Session: Storytelling

This paper investigates the emergence of documentary practices on the Internet. It is potentially beneficial to researchers and practitioners in the emerging area of documentary Web work, and for museums or cultural institutions who utilize Web sites for exhibition programming and thematic presentations. The goal of the paper is to develop a methodological framework for analyzing Web documentaries based on current film theory, since to date, documentary practice has been rooted in filmmaking. A secondary goal is to describe the current state of Web documentaries as well as potential benefits and hurdles in its future development. A review of potentially relevant film theories assists in building a framework for analyzing documentary practices on the Internet. The framework proposed is based on Bill Nichol's theory of documentary film. The study includes analysis of five documentary Web sites ranging from independently to institutionally produced sites. Our aim is to contribute to further investigations of the relationship between documentary cinema and documentary practices on the Internet.