Explorative documentaries main focus are a scienfitifc search socially, psychologically, or physically. It illustrates the film in the perspetive of a witness learning and exploring new experiences, facts, or truths.
A persuasive documentary is basically a documentary that is trying to convince the audience to think a certain way, or change their minds from a previous opinion. It can also "persuade" the audience to take action about the issue revealed in the film.
A mockumentary is a "mock documentary", a parody of the often earnest nature of the documentary film genre. Although the term mockumentary didn't enter pop culture until the release of Rob Reiner's groundbreaking comedy This is Spinal Tap, many filmmakers over the years have created fictionalized documentaries and false newsreel footage for comedic effect.
One such early mockumentary carefully detailed the harvesting of spaghetti from a grove of fictional spaghetti trees. Another short mockumentary demonstrated a miraculous dry-cleaning process in which customers simply walked through a tank of fluid. The footage of users emerging completely dry and clean was actually filmed in reverse. The British comedy team Monty Python was notorious for creating full-length mockumentaries on fictional sports competitions or obscure historical figures.
The mockumentary film genre reached mainstream audiences first with director Rob Reiner's brilliant but fictional documentary about a British rock band called Spinal Tap. The band had obviously passed its prime by the time filming began, but an intrepid interviewer (Reiner) continued to explore the backstage world of the musicians, completely unaware of their rapidly fading fame. Separate, and largely improvised, interviews with the band members slowly reveal the sad truth behind their onstage personas.
This style of documntary making is extrememly real to the audiece. The film maker makes his presence known in front of the camera and narrates the documentary. The viewer is just as concerned with the filmmaking process as the overal film in general.
This short film by award winning documentary film maker Andrew Jenks is an example of the reflexive/performative positions by how he makes the filming process known by illustrating the views of different individuals involved in the movement. He is involved with every aspect involved in the documentary. Both in front and behind the camera barriers are crossed.
Films that recover and compile historical events into a narration for the audience. Historical Documentaries sometimes interview experts or individuals that were living during the historical context that the film is focusing on. Historical Documentaries are kind of like the "non fiction" books of films.
This documentary is persuasive. It reveals how poor the education system is in certain areas and explains why it needs to be changed. "Waiting for Superman" is persuading the audience that this country needs to find a new way to make eduaction better and equally accessable.
Personal documentaries are life stories told on film or video. They typically present a life from beginning to end, and often cover ancestors as well as progeny. Personal documentaries combine interview footage with photographs, historical images, documents, music, archive footage, voice-over, objects and artifacts, captions and titles, personal or home movies, maps and animations, and other media as available. Normally, they are divided into chapters and most usually they are output, or delivered, to DVD.
Hitler In Colour is an example of a historical documentary through its focus on illustrating all aspects of life for Germans living during his rule. The compliations of old film footage along with testimonials and quotes of living Germans during this time add to the historical narrative. Historical documentaries compress a great amount of information into a film. Observe the difference film techniques used in historical documentaries that are not quite used in the others.