Subject matter experts are clear about it: we are living the golden age in documentaries. Technology has come to permeate everything and to blur the lines between genres. Of course, documentaries have not escaped its influence. Just in case it is still unclear to you, we have gathered some past decade productions that we believe illustrate last trends. ¡Let non-fiction shine!
As new technologies arise, genres become an anachronism. During the last century, documentaries were labeled second-class productions and confined to TV’s low audience timeframes. Nevertheless, the arrival of new platforms has located every genre side by side and now the only difference between one and another depends on each viewer’s personal preference.
The industry’s democratization is true at all levels. We already commented the other day how drones have put at almost anyone’s fingertips what was usually reserved only to blockbusters.
But it goes well beyond that. Should documentaries have an omniscient narrator, emotional images, a traditional narrative thread and a bunch of talking heads? According to who? The bravest have challenged these paradigms and dare to do almost anything with non-fiction. So much that they use tools and styles typical of any other cinematographic genre. Why not?
Documentaries are picking up their rightful place in the industry and it is not just us saying it. Some even claim that this may be the golden age in documentaries. To illustrate this trend we have selected the following exponents:
1. If there is a genre able to change the way we say certain things, that is documentary. The next is a clear example of this statement and we doubt anyone will be able to step foot in a dolphinarium again without feeling some kind of remorse. We could as well have chosen Black Fish (also highly recommended) but The Cove is even braver, a true activist example. Beware: you may find the following images upsetting.
2. Wasteland is one of those documentaries liked by everybody. One that leaves you with a good impression, a warm feeling and certain hope for humanity, something rare in this industry. Maybe that is why it is one of the audience’s favorites, or perhaps it is simply because it manages to find beauty in the most unexpected location.
3. This documentary about Amy Winehouse is like one of her songs, or like her life, vibrant, heartbreakingly sad and a desperate try to escape sensationalism. Most of all we like it because it makes us reflect as society and makes us remember the reason Amy became famous: neither the bulimia, nor the scandals, not even her hair or her running eyeliner; her songs, that is all.
4.The first Planet Earth was indeed a wonder, but BBC has evolved with technology to bring us a sequel that is a masterpiece in 4k. Remote controlled cameras, drones or stabilizers, make Planet Earth II the nature documentary par excellence of the last decade. Best of all, if their aim was to make us fall in love again with life, with our planet and with this genre, they certainly succeeded.
Hardly anyone doubts nowadays that this kind of productions match up to any other cinematographic work and the road is open so they reach the place they deserve.
As always, we offer to help and make this path easier. As you may know, if you are willing to commercialize any documentaries’ rights you just have to upload them to MediaBank and leave the rest in our hands. Dare to shine!