For documentary filmmakers who deal with social issues and often call for action on the part of the audience, we need to understand more fully how the filmmaking techniques such as POV [point-of-view] operate. A POV shot is one of the devices that align the viewer to a certain character by guiding the viewer’s attention to what is significant in the narrative." In other words, POV in the omniscient realm becomes the control for what the audience sees and hears. As our senses are limited and focused in a particular way, we begin to cognitively function (potentially) in the way the filmmakers want. And we (by choosing to continue watching) begin to both buy in and, depending upon our level of viewing sophistication and willingness, even resist the filmmakers' vision/ideology/meaning. Our ethos begins to shift.
In many contemporary documentary films, truth does not come from objectivity alone but through a complicated interplay between objective observation and personal, subjective identification (thoughts, emotions, and beliefs). Not only are we asked by the filmmakers (director, cinematographer) to identify with a particular perspective on the events but through the use of classic filmmaking techniques (composition, angle, and editing) but also the filmmakers create a subsidiary character or role they ask viewers to fill. Situated in the dark of the cinema or relative darkness of our homes, the camera becomes our eyes and ears as we are contemporary participants in events already past. ... Read More